A health insurance cooperative based in Maine has received $67 million federal loan to expand into New Hampshire’s healthcare exchange.
When the federal healthcare marketplace opened in 2013, Maine Community Health Options made waves when it grabbed a whopping 83 percent market share in Maine. The small cooperative outcompeted Anthem - the only other insurer on Maine’s marketplace at the time, and currently the only insurer on New Hampshire’s healthcare exchange.
In the pitched political battle over the Affordable Care Act, Republicans and Democrats seem to have found common ground on one issue: Anthem’s so-called narrow network of providers.
From GOP Senate candidate Scott Brown to Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, a wide array of voices have complained that Anthem’s decision to exclude 10 hospitals from its plans sold through the new federal health exchange harms patients.
On Wednesday, one of those patients, an East Rochester woman named Margaret McCarthy, will get a long-awaited hearing on the matter at the state Insurance Department.
New Hampshire's Insurance Department will hear a complaint about the exclusion of a hospital from the network of providers covered under the Affordable Care Act. A patient at Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester says Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield's network is inadequate because it does not include Frisbie. Sixteen hospitals are in the network; 10 are not. Anthem has said the "narrow'' network keeps costs down and the state insurance department determined the network meets adequacy standards. The department previously denied a petition by Frisbie and patient Margaret McCarthy.
Health insurance products sold in New Hampshire’s exchange would face public hearings under a bill passed by the Senate.
Supporters say the hearings will provide transparency about what exactly the plans cover, and which doctors and hospitals are participating. The move comes in direct response to Anthem’s so-called narrow network exchange plans that leave out 10 of the state’s 26 hospitals.
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.
Customers who bought health insurance in the new exchange are getting more time to pay their first month’s bill. Anthem Blue Cross says New Hampshire consumers who signed up before the deadline for coverage starting January 1st now have until the end of the month to pay their first month’s premium. The deadline was originally today.
Last week the company’s president acknowledged that many new customers still hadn’t received their insurance ID cards and that a help line was overwhelmed with calls.
Anthem Blue Cross says it’s extending the renewal date for canceled health insurance plans to December 16.
Last month, the company sent cancelation notices to 22,000 New Hampshire customers because current plans didn’t satisfy stricter new protections in the Affordable Care Act. Customers looking to renew originally had until November 15 to start the process, though that deadline was pushed back to December 1. Today's announcement gives policyholders an additional two weeks.
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.
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.”
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.
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.