Affordable Care Act

Virtual Town Hall
9:17 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Virtual Town Hall: How Affordable Will The New Health Care Law Be For N.H.?

Now that the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, has launched, just how affordable will it make health insurance in New Hampshire? We hosted a special panel featuring Laura Knoy, host of NHPR's The Exchange, along with Tiffany Eddy of the Live Free or Die Alliance for a town hall discussion broadcast live on the web on Tuesday, November 19th. 

You can listen to the unedited audio from the event right here:

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Health
4:40 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Data Reveal Low Insurance Enrollment Figures In New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, 269 residents have selected health plans through the new marketplace, according to figures released Wednesday by the federal government. 

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Health
3:31 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

After Delay, Health Law Grant Awarded To Concord Firm

A Concord-based PR firm is getting $1.9 million to launch a statewide media campaign promoting the federal health law.

Louis Karno & Company says it will use the money to create a website with New Hampshire-specific information on the Affordable Care Act by December, and then begin a broader media push including television and radio ads meant to educate consumers.

The New Hampshire Health Plan awarded the federal funds. Executive Director Mike Degnan says information on this health law is greatly needed.

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Health
6:47 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Advocates Push For Medicaid Expansion During Public Hearings

Senate President Chuck Morse prepares to give testimony during a public hearing on Medicaid expansion.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

On Tuesday, both the House and Senate held public hearings on competing Medicaid expansion bills. 

Supporters of growing the health program pulled out the same blue stickers they’ve worn at other recent public hearings. And many of the voices were the same, including doctors, nurses, advocates and citizens who shared stories about how access to health insurance would benefit low-income New Hampshire residents.

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Health
6:06 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

On Expansion, Lawmakers Have Two Weeks To Reconcile Two Competing Plans

Credit Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

  Lawmakers returned to Concord Thursday to debate a major part of the federal health overhaul law: expansion of Medicaid. In New Hampshire, such a move would provide insurance coverage to an estimated 50,000 low income residents.

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Word of Mouth
1:23 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

What If Apple, Google, Or Facebook Had Launched Healthcare.gov?

Credit Logan Shannon / NHPR

The rollout of the Affordable Care Act has been called many things – smooth is not one of them.  Once attention shifted from the government shutdown to the October 1st launch of the website healthcare.gov, pundits, reporters, and politicians on both sides of the aisle have condemned glitches and delays as irresponsible and ultimately, unnecessary.  We decided to play a little thought experiment…what if, instead of the government, one of America’s tech giants had been in charge of the site for applying for and purchasing health insurance?  What if instead of healthcare.gov, we had “i-healthcare?”  “Or Google Health?”  What if Mark Zuckerberg were asked to spearhead the “Facebook Health Exchange?”

Joining me to speculate on how the rollout might have gone differently is Rob Fleischman, Chief Technology Officer at Xero-Cole, and our regular oracle of all things digital. Also joining us is David Ewalt, senior editor at Forbes who writes about technology, games, space and other geeky stuff.

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Health
11:38 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Shaheen Continues Push For Health Law Enrollment Extension

Senator Jeanne Shaheen continues to press the Obama administration to extend the enrollment period for those looking to buy coverage through the new health law. In an op-ed in USA Today, Shaheen says consumers shouldn’t be penalized by a failed website roll-0ut.

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Health
4:14 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Federal Grant To Market Health Law Again Delayed

A flawed bid process is further delaying efforts to market the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire, as the group in charge of awarding a $2 million contract has decided to reopen its application process.

The New Hampshire Health Plan committee voted 3-2 to award the contract to an unnamed vendor on October 9, but the group, for reasons left unstated in meeting minutes, then decided not to finalize that recommendation.

New Hampshire Health Plan Executive Director Michael Degnan wouldn’t go into detail, but says the committee was divided.

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Health
4:00 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Narrow Network Insurance Plans Could Spark New Regulations

Michael Justice and his wife Chris in front of their Peterborough home.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

When Michael Justice was laid off from a local college last year, he lost a job he liked, a paycheck he needed and an insurance plan he relied on.

At 63, he’s now buying a policy to cover him and his wife. The bill every month is $1,638.

“It’s more than we pay for mortgage, its more than we pay on property taxes, which in New Hampshire is saying a bit,” says Justice. “It’s more than we pay for heating oil, more than we pay for electricity, more than we pay for water.”

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Health
4:42 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Commission Finalizes Plan That Supports Medicaid Expansion In N.H.

Senator Nancy Stiles working with a consultant on the final version of the Medicaid Expansion Commission report.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

Brushing up against its October 15th deadline, on Tuesday a special commission studying a possible expansion of Medicaid in New Hampshire finalized its recommendations.

This was the final meeting of a nine-member group that spent the summer debating if and how to expand Medicaid to more low income residents.

While the issue still proves divisive, the commission did find common ground accepting the contents of the final report, voting unanimously to send it to the Governor and legislative leaders.

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Health
5:08 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Signing Up On Insurance Marketplace Delivers More Errors Than Results

We've heard a lot about the new health insurance exchanges (A.K.A. marketplaces) since they launched this month. What follows is a blog of my attempts to navigate New Hampshire's marketplace. So far, it's been an error-ridden process with recurring visits to a virtual waiting room.

Day 1: October 1st

11:15 a.m.

Creating an account. 

Using Google Chrome browser, I go to Healthcare.gov. I click log in at the top right corner of the first screen.

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Health
10:06 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Medicaid Expansion Plan Approved By Commission

New Hampshire is one of just a handful of states that hasn’t yet answered the Medicaid expansion question. Remember, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the federal health law last summer, it said Washington could not force states to expand their  Medicaid programs that provides health care to the poor. States, instead, must be given a choice.

And so, for the better part of three months now, a special commission has been studying whether to add 50,000 more low income individuals to the program.

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Health
3:39 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Marketplace Navigator: Experience Without Health Insurance Drew Me To Job

Jaime Chabot, left, and Mariann White, right, are marketplace navigators for Planned Parent of Northern New England. They will be working directly with patients to help them enroll.
Credit NHPR / Michael Brindley

Open enrollment began today for the New Hampshire health insurance marketplace.

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NH News
4:33 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Some Local Healthcare Providers Prepared To Help Uninsured Navigate A.C.A. Enrollment

Credit istock photo

As the Affordable Care Act’s enrollment period opens, some affiliated healthcare providers are reaching out to uninsured Granite Staters.


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Word of Mouth
2:15 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

How Will The New Healthcare Law Impact New Hampshire Residents?

Credit Lidor via flickr Creative Commons

With enrollment for healthcare plans under “Obamacare” set to begin tomorrow, NHPR’s health reporter, Todd Bookman, has kept a steady eye on the rollout of the affordable care act. He put together an easy-to-follow guide to what the new healthcare law means for New Hampshire residents, and joins us in the studio to run through some of those points.

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Health
5:30 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

N.H. Marketplace Will Have Lower Prices, But Fewer Choices, Than Neighbors

National average does not include Massachusetts, Hawaii, or Kentucky, where rate information isn't yet available.

A new report from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services provides a snapshot of premium prices for health plans sold in the new marketplaces. When they launch October 1, individuals will be able to comparison shop for plans in their state's marketplace and apply for subsidies meant to make insurance more affordable.

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Health
5:28 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

No Paul Bunyan, But Health Law Education Efforts Ramp Up In State

The Fuller Public Library in Hillsborough hosts book groups, a story hour for preschoolers, and the occasional knitting workshop.

Also on the calendar this month? An hour-long presentation on the Affordable Care Act.

“Tonight, this is probably going to feel like you are drinking from  a fire hose,” says Kelly Clark, State Director for AARP New Hampshire.

She runs through a slide show for a group of about two dozen residents. It touches on all the main points of the law: the exchanges, the mandates, subsidies, and Medicaid.

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Health
1:04 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Obamacare & You: What The New Law Means For N.H.

NH News
4:16 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

N.H. To Receive $3 Million To Review Insurance Rate Hikes

Credit 401(K) 2013 via Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire is getting a $3 million federal grant to fight unreasonable increases in health insurance rates and to make pricing more transparent.

The grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is part of the federal Affordable Care Act. The goal is to support state efforts to review health insurance rate increases, educate consumers and hold insurance companies accountable.

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Health
2:50 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Sen. Shaheen Says Health Law Already Having Positive Impact

Senator Shaheen speaking in Concord on Monday. She calls the law "the single biggest advancement for women's health, really, in my lifetime."
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

  At an event organized by the New Hampshire Women’s Health Network and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Senator Shaheen praised the law as the single biggest advancement in women’s health in her lifetime.

Health
4:59 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Anthem Tells Senators It Likely Won't Add More Hospitals To Narrow Network

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO Lisa Guertin answered questions in Concord on Wednesday.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

New Hampshire Senators expressed frustration with Anthem Blue Cross on Wednesday about the insurance products they plan to sell in the new health marketplaces. 

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Wed September 18, 2013

The Next Big Phase Of The Affordable Care Act

Credit WUKY

Enrollment begins soon for the on-line health insurance “exchanges” or marketplaces. So far, in this state, only one insurer is taking part…with a product that offers lower cost but a narrower network.  We’ll look at the rollout of this one component of Obamacare.and what it could mean for the Granite State.

GUESTS:

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Health
9:31 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Anthem Releases Some Sample Rates For Insurance Marketplace

Anthem Blue Cross is providing a snapshot of some of the rates it will charge for insurance plans bought in the new health marketplaces.

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Health
4:50 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Anthem To Offer 11 Different Options In Health Exchange

Individuals looking to purchase health insurance through the new marketplaces will have only one company to choose from in New Hampshire.

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Health
2:17 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Democrats Say Alternative Plan To Medicaid Expansion 'Makes No Sense'

Sylvia Larsen, appearing on the Exchange in 2011

Democratic lawmakers are criticizing a Republican-backed alternative plan to Medicaid expansion in New Hampshire. 

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Word of Mouth
10:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Affordable Care Act Will Shine Light On Gifts And Fees Doctors Receive

Doctors may scale back on office swag because of a provision in the ACA called "The Sunshine Act."
Credit Daniel Sylvester Hurd via Flickr Creative Commons

The Affordable Care Act has gotten its fair share of media coverage since passing in December of 2009, but much of the discussion has focused the behemoth law’s more controversial aspects, like the individual mandate and Medicaid expansion.  One under-discussed provision of the A.C.A. is called “The Sunshine Act.” It's designed to reveal the substantial fees and gifts doctors receive from pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Joining me to discuss the provision and what it will mean for doctors and companies is healthcare reporter for the Wall Street Journal Peter Loftus, as well as physician and author Danielle Ofri, who writes about medicine and the doctor-patient connection for The New York Times.

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Health
6:10 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Health Insurance Shake Up Continues In N.H.

All smiles as executives introduce the ElevateHealth product at a press conference in Concord.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

For the second time in less than a week, the health care landscape in New Hampshire is absorbing a major announcement.

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Health
5:40 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Republicans Criticize Anthem's Plan To Drop Some Hospitals From Network

Anthem Blue Cross is defending its move to reduce the number of hospitals in its network for individuals buying coverage through the new health exchange marketplaces. 

The state's largest carrier and only company to participate in the exchange is dropping ten New Hampshire hospitals from its provider network for all individual policy holders. That includes plans bought both inside and outside of the new health exchange marketplace that rolls out October 1st. It doesn’t apply to employer-sponsored plans or plans for some Medicare recipients.

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NH News
5:26 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Two N.H. Organizations Selected As Navigators Under Health Law

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and Bi-State Primary Care Association, a non-profit network of health centers, will receive federal grant money to help consumers sign up for coverage under the new health law.

Federal officials announced Thursday a total of $67 million in grants to more than 105 groups around the country.

Bi-State Primary Care Association will receive $430,000, while Planned Parenthood will get $145,000.

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NH News
4:29 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Group Decries Impact Of Federal Healthcare Law

N.H. residents protesting the federal healthcare law rallied in front of the State House Thursday.
Credit Ella Nilsen

Conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity rallied against the Affordable Care Act in the front of the State House today, detailing concerns including rising costs and doctor shortages.

The protest comes as a panel examines Medicaid Expansion in N.H., a provision of the federal healthcare law.

Director of Americans for Prosperity – N.H., Greg Moore said the group opposes expansion.

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