Affordable Care Act

Health Insurance Shake Up Continues In N.H.

Sep 9, 2013
Todd Bookman / NHPR

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

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.

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.

Group Decries Impact Of Federal Healthcare Law

Aug 1, 2013
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.

Health Reform on Hold?

Jul 18, 2013 via Flickr/Creative Commons

The Obama administration recently announced delays in several provisions of the Affordable Care Act -- including the employer mandate, which requires businesses of a certain size to provide health insurance for employees…as well as smaller technical changes. We’ll talk with experts on where we are now, given this shift, and what might be next.


Some New Hampshire businesses say they welcome news of a recent delay in a key part of the Affordable Care Act. 

On Tuesday, the Obama Administration announced it is postponing the so-called employer mandate by a year, citing a need for more time to simplify regulations. 

It was this provision that Senator Kelly Ayotte, speaking at the Republican National Convention last summer, offered  as a reason why she thinks Obamacare won’t work.

Land Rover Our Planet / Alex E. Proimos / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire is one of only three states with a split legislature: Republicans control the Senate, Democrats the House of Representatives. The two bodies have shown an ability to work together on some issues this session, including business tax credits and limits on lead fishing tackle.

But with the end of the legislative year fast approaching, inter-chamber gamesmanship is on the rise. It can start simple enough. A routine legislative procedure on the House floor.

State lawmakers today put off a key vote on whether to accept Federal funds meant to support a partnership health exchange.

Earlier this month, the Feds awarded the state’s Insurance Department $5.4 million to pay for implementation of the Consumer Assistance portion of the new health exchange marketplace.

But on an 8-2 vote, members of the Joint Fiscal Committee tabled the motion, effectively delaying use of the portion of funds allocated for this fiscal year, roughly $340,000.

A report out today estimates that 96,000 New Hampshire residents will be eligible for health insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act. The credits will be available starting in January, 2014, when the individual mandate kicks in.

Although the Supreme Court upheld most of the Affordable Care Act, it said states could choose whether to expand Medicaid. Supporters say doing so helps low income Americans gain coverage and boosts the economy. Critics warn it’s government overreach and is simply unaffordable. We’ll get New Hampshire’s take on this debate.


The Granite State gets ready for what are called “health exchanges” under  the Affordable Care Act.  These are new marketplaces where consumers and small businesses can shop for health coverage, advocates say these will encourage competition and lower costs, but there are many unknowns, including who will regulate the insurance companies that participate.


Mercy Health, via Flickr

Following President Obama’s reelection and the U.S. Supreme Court’s affirmation of much of the Affordable Care Act, the gears are in motion to implement this law 2014. We’re talking with lawmakers and health care experts about aspects of Medicaid expansion and health exchanges, major parts of the new law now being debated in the Granite State.


Alex E. Proimos / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Affordable Care Act says that every state has to select a health plan that will basically serve as a model for other plans.

So, if the model plan covers, say, infertility treatment, eyeglasses or autism services—those same benefits must be included in other plans.

This requirement only applies to the individual and small group markets, where about 200,000 New Hampshire residents shop for insurance.

Deadlines Loom in Health Plan Decision

Sep 12, 2012

A day after the primary elections, lawmakers were back at the statehouse discussing health insurance. At issue is what insurance companies will have to cover under the Affordable Care Act.

The ACA calls for states to select something called a private insurance Essential Health Benefit benchmark by September 30th. Simply put, lawmakers in Concord need to pick an insurance plan that will serve as a model for most other insurance plans offered in the state.

And they have less than three weeks to do it.

istock photo

New Hampshire’s insurance department told House and Senate lawmakers Wednesday what a federal Insurance Exchange will look like in New Hampshire.

N.H. Begins To Wrestle With Medicaid Expansion

Jul 24, 2012
Sara Plourde / NHPR

A group of New Hampshire lawmakers will meet Wednesday to begin discussing how the state should move forward under the nation’s health care law.  One of the big questions for the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee is whether New Hampshire should expand its Medicaid program.

The recent Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act gives states the option to extend Medicaid to more low-income residents. Under the new law, beginning in 2014, an adult who brings home less than $15,000 a year and a family of four with income under about $30,000 will qualify.


The Department of Veteran Affairs expects to spend $57 billion in 2013. A significant part of that budget pays for nursing home care for elderly vets. This month, Washington Monthly magazine is exploring American wealth. Editor John Gravois wrote about the V.A. program that follows the foster care model.

Wednesday, a House vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act has passed 244 to 185.

Both New Hampshire Congressmen voted to repeal the nation’s healthcare law.

Many have called this vote symbolic. Charlie Bass says this new vote was triggered by the Supreme Court decision to uphold the law. But, he says, he considers it a kickoff to congressional races for re-election.

The Supreme Court’s decision on the health care law threw many lawmakers in Washington for a loop.

NH's Health Care Exchange Still Up in the Air

Jun 28, 2012
Bruce A Stockwell / Flickr Creative Commons

Exchanges are the marketplaces where consumers will basically window-shop the various health care policies available in different states.

The Federal government granted each state funds to begin studying and implementing these exchanges, but New Hampshire’s Executive Council gave that money back, nearly $1,000,000.

Republicans, including House Speaker Bill O’Brien, say that the exchanges will simply cost too much to run. He points to the experience of other New England states.

Flikr Creative Commons / Fifth World Art

This is a closer look at the Supreme Court’s Ruling as it relates to Medicaid in the Granite State. Under the upheld law, an additional 17 million people nationwide are set to become eligible for Medicaid in 2014. That’s a 27 percent increase. The new threshold is $29,000 dollars a year for a family of four.

Several weeks ago, Gov. John Lynch signed a bill that blocked the state from setting up a health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

That means, under the act, the federal government will set up an exchange for New Hampshire, to give individuals who were previously unable to buy insurance  access to health care coverage.

Gubernatorial Candidates React to Health Care Ruling

Jun 28, 2012
Photo by Chickenlump, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire’s gubernatorial candidates are weighing in on the Supreme Court’s ruling, and they stand, pretty much, where you'd expect.

The two leading GOP contenders for the state’s corner office didn’t like the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court ruling, and that hasn’t really changed.

Ovide Lamontagne, the current front runner, says that as Governor, he would do everything possible to slow down or block the law’s implementation.

New Hampshire’s congressional delegation is reacting largely along party lines to the Supreme Court’s ruling on health care.

New Hampshire insurance carriers say they are generally supportive of the Supreme Court’s health care ruling.

MVP Health Care says it supports many of the goals of the ACA, such as ensuring that all Americans have affordable health coverage and access to high-quality care. However, the company says there are parts of the act that policymakers should reconsider, such as the cuts to Medicare Advantage health benefit plans and the “Small Business Health Insurance Tax.”

In case you missed hearing President Obama's speech on the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, you can watch the full speech below courtesy of the White House Blog.


President Obama will talk about the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act at 12:15 p.m. Listen to live coverage on NHPR, watch the address below, or here on

View the live video stream here if you are experiencing difficulties.

<a href="">massmatt</a> / Flickr

A look at the statements made by N.H.'s congressional delegation, state lawmakers and state politicians.

In one of the most widely anticipated decisions in recent history, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that the sweeping federal law overhauling the nation's health care system is constitutional.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule today in the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Today is the last day of the Court's current term, and the ruling is expected to be released not long after 10 a.m. NHPR will bring you coverage through the day and the days ahead of what this highly-anticipated decision will mean. Join us today at 2:00 p.m. for a special edition of Talk of the Nation and check back at for updates.