Health

Health
3:39 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Profits, Prices Up In New Hampshire Health Insurance Market

Anthem continues to dominate New Hampshire's insurance market.
Credit N.H. Insurance Department '2012 Medical Cost Drivers Report'

A new report finds health care costs in the state continue to rise, even as New Hampshire residents visit doctors less often.

The Insurance Department’s annual report, based on 2012 rates, finds average premiums were up just about 1% from the year before. But Tyler Brannen, an analyst with the Department, says those premium dollars are actually buying consumers less coverage.

Read more
Health
4:15 am
Wed December 18, 2013

HIV In New Hampshire: A Problem For 'Over There'

Three decades after the start of a global epidemic, roughly 35 million people are living with HIV worldwide, and more than a million in the United States. New Hampshire maintains one of the lowest rates of infection in the country, but stigma and misinformation about the virus persist locally.

As an AIDS outreach worker with Dartmouth Hitchcock in Nashua, Jean Adie works against those forces.  

She acts out a typical interaction:

“Jeez, you know, you’re having unprotected sex. When was the last time you were tested?” she’ll ask.

“Oh, I’ve never been tested.”

Read more
Health
11:23 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Two States, Two Approaches To The Affordable Care Act

Credit Via U.S. Digital Maps Archive

While the Affordable Care Act is a federal law, it’s playing out very differently across the states. In New Hampshire, strong opposition from Republican lawmakers and a lack of competition between insurance companies has marred the roll out advocates had hoped for.

Read more
Health
5:15 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

More Competition Coming To New Hampshire's Insurance Market

 Consumers will have more health insurance options in New Hampshire starting in 2015. Massachusetts-based non-profit Minuteman Health says it plans to compete in the state’s exchange with a wide network of hospitals.

CEO Tom Policelli says his company has already begun talks with many of the state’s providers.

“We believe that we can come into New Hampshire and offer a much more broad network than Anthem has, and still deliver an excellent price point, and that’s what we intend to do,” says Policelli.

Anthem is the only company selling products in 2014.

Read more
Health
5:05 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Frisbie Memorial Hospital Denied Hearing Against 'Narrow Network'

The New Hampshire Insurance Department is denying a complaint filed by Frisbie Memorial Hospital over its exclusion from Anthem’s provider network for individual policies.

Read more
Health
3:35 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

More New Hampshire Users Getting Through Troubled Health Site

In November, 1,300 New Hampshire residents were able to select insurance plans through HealthCare.gov. That brings the total to 1,569 since the start of enrollment on October 1st.

New data out from the federal government show more than 8,700 people in the state completed applications for health insurance in the new marketplace.

Maine has seen activity similar to New Hampshire.

Read more
Health
1:34 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Wide Variation In Medical Treatment For Children In Northern New England

Credit The Dartmouth Atlas

 A new study from the Dartmouth Atlas Project finds many children in northern New England receive potentially unneeded medical care that could have harmful side effects.

Researchers compared data for a range of care across Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine for children under age 18.

Read more
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.  

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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]

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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:

Read more

Pages