Health

Health
5:59 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Computer Problems Continue To Plague Insurance Enrollments in N.H.

Anthem Blue Cross says it’s still having trouble processing some new health insurance enrollments because of computer problems.  

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Health
4:10 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Kwiatkowski Sentenced To 39 Years In Prison

David Kwiatkowski

More than a year and a half after an outbreak of Hepatitis C at Exeter Hospital first emerged, a traveling medical technician has been sentenced to nearly four decades in federal prison. 

David Kwiatkowski, his hair trimmed short, looked heavier than at his last court appearance in August, when he pleaded guilty to 16 federal charges.

For nearly a decade, the defendant admits he routinely stole syringes of powerful pain medication. He would inject himself, and then reuse those needles on patients.

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Health
2:50 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Anthem Extends Insurance Renewal Date For Second Time

Credit NHPR Staff

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.

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Health
9:29 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Will Work For Health Insurance: The 'Job Lock' Conundrum

Richard Polonsky, with his dog Bella, at home in Bedford.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

Richard Polonsky is an organizational consultant, and can, if prompted, easily talk like one.

“Being an outsider to an organization, I think people tend to listen to you more than when you are part of the organizational structure,” says Polonsky.

Based in Bedford, he has spent a career advising companies and non-profits on big campaigns. It’s a role Polonsky excels in: working from the outside, thinking strategically, and being blunt with management.

But as an independent contractor, he never received the same health benefits employees could access.

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Health
1:57 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

INFOGRAPHIC: How The ACA Is Changing N.H.'s Individual Market

Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

Much has been made of the changes introduced, with the passing of the Affordable Care Act, to the health care markets, but many still struggle to understand how they will be personally affected.

While only making up 3.5% of New Hampshire's overall market, the individual market is seeing the greatest level of upheaval, with the addition of the newly insured, the merging of the high-risk pools, changes to the small group market, shifting premiums, changing benefits, and federal subsidies.

The graphic below aims to make sense of many of the changes happening in the individual market.
[Click to view full size]

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Health
3:28 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Amid Insurance Website Problems, State Looks To Keep High Risk Pool Alive

The New Hampshire Insurance Department wants to keep open a program that provides health coverage for 2,750 residents with pre-existing conditions. The $45-million high risk pool operated by the New Hampshire Health Plan was set to close at year’s end.

Since health insurance companies can no longer deny people because of pre-existing conditions under the Affordable Care Act, state-run high risk pools around the country are winding down.

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Health
3:07 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Anthem Extends Renewal Date For Customers Who Want To Keep Plans

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.

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Health
1:43 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Governor Pushes For Medicaid Expansion Agreement In Republican District

Toni Trotzer of Hampton, NH shows her support for medicaid expansion in New Hampshire.
Credit Emily Corwin

  Governor Maggie Hassan made an appearance in Hampton on Friday morning at the public library. There, she called on Republicans in the Senate to come to an agreement with Democrats on how to expand Medicaid. 

Hassan began with her now familiar pitch for expanding Medicaid to more low-income people. Her choice of Hampton, however, was no coincidence.  The Governor had come to the hometown of Republican Senator Nancy Stiles with a message for the Senator:

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Health
6:39 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Parties Continue To Negotiate On Medicaid Expansion

House and Senate leaders continue to debate an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program to more low-income New Hampshire residents.

A key difference between the two sides is how quickly New Hampshire moves an estimated 35,000 individuals from Medicaid into the exchange to obtain private insurance.  

House leaders and the Governor say the GOP’s plan to shift people in 2015 won’t work. Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, are defending their proposal.

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Health
5:55 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Breaking Down A Big Day In Health News

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.

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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
1:29 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

GOP Rejects Hassan's Compromise On Medicaid Expansion

Governor Maggie Hassan
Credit Chris Jensen, NHPR News

Governor Maggie Hassan and House Democrats are offering to adopt the Senate’s plan for Medicaid expansion provided they make certain changes, but GOP leadership says the proposal falls short of a compromise.

On Wednesday, Hassan and House Speaker Terie Norelli outlined a package that would use the Senate’s language for expansion, but changes how and when individuals would access private insurance.

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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
4:04 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Managed Care Transition Puts Governor Hassan In Difficult Position

Stu Wallace with his son Ethan, in the backyard of a group home in Plymouth.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

Ethan Wallace, head down, decisively storms out the backdoor of his group home in Plymouth. He checks on the garden, the shed, and then climbs onto some boulders edging the property.

“One thing about a guy like Ethan,” says Stuart Wallace, “he’s very healthy and very active. And with Ethan, there is no such thing as sitting still and relaxing.”

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