Commissioner Says Money Will Put 'Flesh On The Bones' Of Health Exchange Outreach Effort

May 14, 2013

State officials continue to press for action on $340,000 in federal money meant to help implement the health exchange in New Hampshire. 

Speaking to the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee, Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny repeated the need for quick acceptance of the grant money. Last month, a different legislative body, the Joint Fiscal Committee, delayed the funds, citing concerns over a lack of information.

Sevigny says the money would help "put flesh on the bones" of his Department's effort to help consumers understand the new health law.

"I don’t want to leave anyone with the impression that we, the Insurance Department, are suggesting waiting on doing outreach. We are not. There isn’t a whole lot we can do without the funding necessary to do it."

The grant, along with an additional $5 million in funds that must get approved through the budget, will be used for marketing and education. It can also be spent on ‘in-person assistors’ who will help the uninsured shop for coverage.

That provision has given some Republicans pause, saying it could disrupt the traditional insurance market. Insurance brokers also question the need for in-person assistors.

A decision on the grant will come June 7th.