Anthem Blue Cross says it’s extending the renewal date for customers who buy individual policies. The state’s largest health insurance company informed brokers earlier this week that current policyholders who want to keep their plans will have until the end of the month to renew, a two week extension from the original deadline of November 15.
A big day in the world of health policy, nationally and in New Hampshire. State regulators are still trying to gauge how to handle the President’s offer to let consumers keep canceled insurance plans. And in Concord, lawmakers continue to negotiate over Medicaid expansion, one week into a special session. NHPR’s Health Reporter Todd Bookman talks with All Things Considered Host Brady Carlson.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.