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.
It wasn’t exactly a victory lap, but the president was in California last week praising an early success of the Affordable Care Act.
Speaking in San Jose on Friday, Obama touted the California health insurance exchange--one of the new online marketplaces where individuals and small business employers can shop for coverage and apply for subsidies starting October 1.
California's exchange will have 13 companies competing for business and rates far below what experts predicted.
A highly technical bill meant to streamline insurance regulation in the state isn't receiving support in a Senate committee, an action that could block the state's efforts to partner with the Federal government on a new health exchange.
The bill, HB 668, was originally requested by the N.H. Insurance Department to bring state law inline with the Affordable Care Act. Without it, parts of the ACA will be in conflict with current state practice, meaning the Federal government will step in to regulate health insurance plans. Traditionally, the Insurance Department has held that role.
Health providers, small business owners and reform advocates attended a brainstorming session in Concord on Friday. State Insurance Department officials organized the event, seeking input on how best to implement the new health exchange in New Hampshire.
A range of ideas were offered, from social media campaigns to informational events at hardware stores to old-fashioned word of mouth. Participants stressed a need to reach all communities, including minority and non-English speaking groups, and to do so quickly.
State officials continue to press for action on $340,000 in federal money meant to help implement the health exchange in New Hampshire.
Speaking to the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee, Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny repeated the need for quick acceptance of the grant money. Last month, a different legislative body, the Joint Fiscal Committee, delayed the funds, citing concerns over a lack of information.
Sevigny says the money would help "put flesh on the bones" of his Department's effort to help consumers understand the new health law.
The new health exchanges are often described as something akin to Orbitz or Travelocity. A central place--a website--where insurance can be researched, compared, and purchased.
“Competition in markets, of course, is the way in this country we try to make reasonable prices and good quality available to people and so that is one of their roles,” says Professor Timothy Jost with Washington and Lee University in Virginia.
Jost says another key role of the exchanges is subsidies.
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.
With an October 1st deadline looming, the state continues to move forward with implementation of a partnership health exchange. In agreeing to that partnership, state Republicans say they were promised input on a planning document called a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU.
But last week, the Feds said partner states don’t have to submit an MOU. Republicans say that shuts them out of the legislative process.
The Federal government announced today that New Hampshire’s application for a partnership health care exchange has been approved. Exchanges are the new marketplaces where individuals and small businesses will shop for health insurance starting in October of this year.
The partnership means the N.H. Insurance Department will continue to regulate plans sold in the state. The Federal government will pay for and control the new marketplace website and the '1-800 call center'.