Lawmaker Seeks To Expand Anthem's Narrow Network
As the only company participating in New Hampshire's insurance exchange, Anthem is facing additional scrutiny for its decision to exclude 10 of the state’s 26 hospitals from the plans it’s selling under so-called Obamacare.
The House Committee on Commerce and Consumer Affairs heard testimony today on a bill put forward by Rep. Bill Nelson, a Republican from Brookfield, that would require any company selling insurance through the exchange to at least sit down for negotiations with hospitals that want in.
Nelson told lawmakers the bill isn't about politics.
“This bill is about fairness, about monopolies, about jobs, about the patients that are inconvenienced by the extra travel and expense,” says Nelson.
Anthem says it was able to lower costs by 25% by reducing the number of hospitals, and had no way of knowing it would be the only company selling in the exchange in 2014.
The Senate is also getting involved. It’s taking up a bill this session that would require plans to have at least one hospital in every county, and another measure that would require public hearings on insurer networks.