Health Insurance

Health
5:09 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Quirk In Health Law Creates 'Coverage Canyon'

Credit istock photo

At 60-years old, Wendy Rogers considers herself lucky. She’s healthy, her kids are grown. There’s just one thing that gets her down: health insurance.

“I really don’t let myself think about it, because it overwhelms me.”

Rogers lives in Franklin, in a tidy apartment decorated with framed photos of friends and family. She lost her insurance three years ago, after getting laid off from a local school district  where she was a kindergarten aide. Now she works part time at a child-care center.

Rogers says she relies on family for medical expenses.

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Politics
5:30 am
Mon June 17, 2013

'Obamacare' And Green Energy Bill Bound Together By Poison Pill Tactic

Credit 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.

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Health
4:48 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Insurance Company Practice Of 'Fail First' Called Into Question

Amanda St-Amour inside her home in Merrimack. "There's only so much I can do as one person versus the health care industry."
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

“I have Crohn’s Disease, I have diabetes, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and I had a stroke. From all of this, I am on medication for depression as well.”

Chalk it up to bad genes: Amanda St-Amour struggles with a lot of health conditions.

She’s 30, lives in Merrimack, and pulls out a small laundry basket full of pill bottles.

“Basically, I take about 1, 2, 3…15 pills a morning.”

Recently, one pill has gone missing from the stack. It’s a drug called Trilipix, which St-Amour has taken for years to keep her triglyceride levels down.

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NH News
4:18 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Report Examines Rising Health Insurance Costs In N.H.

A new report from the New Hampshire Insurance Department says that heath insurance rates are on the rise in the state. The “Medical Cost Drivers Report” finds that health insurance premiums jumped 3.8%  in 2011.

The data also shows that insurance companies saw a near 3% increase in profits.

Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny says that rising co-pays and deductibles mean the insured are less able to rely on their health plans to cover medical bills.

There’s only so much cost sharing that someone can bear, and still call it insurance.

Word of Mouth
1:57 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

How Much Is That Titanium Knee In The Window?

Credit Michael Simmons via flickr Creative Commons

Pop question: how much does a hip replacement cost for an uninsured person? Answer: somewhere between $11,000 and $125,000. A college student’s survey of American hospitals found quoted costs to vary wildly – even when the hospitals provided quotes; many could not, or did not provide the quotes at all. The results were recently published by JAMA -- The Journal of American Medicine Association. Elisabeth Rosenthal covers health and medicine for the New York Times and wrote about the study for “Well”.

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Health
4:33 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Fiscal Cliff Deal Means No Health Insurance Co-op In N.H.

Credit istock photo

A last minute deal to avert the fiscal cliff contained bad news for the future of health co-ops.

The Affordable Care Act set aside $6 billion to be used as loans for new non-profit, customer-owned insurance plans. The idea was that each state would have a health co-op that could compete with traditional insurers, in theory, driving down prices.

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NH News
5:19 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

After Abortion Concerns Alleviated, Lawmakers Select Insurance Model

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.

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NH News
4:30 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Deadlines Loom in Health Plan Decision

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.

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NH News
5:03 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Lawmakers Mull Federal Health Insurance Exchange Options

istock photo

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

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Health Care
3:53 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Who gets Medicaid and who doesn't?

Mercy Health, via Flickr

Reporters love to write in a kind of shorthand. And when it comes to Medicaid, the preferred shortcut is, 'the health care program for the poor.'

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All Things Considered
5:26 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

State Will Have Input Into Federal Health Care Exchange, Says Insurance Commissioner

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.

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NH News
3:59 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

New Hampshire Health Insurance Companies React to Affordable Care Act Decision

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.”

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Health
1:43 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Baby Steps For Naturopathic Doctors In New Hampshire

Ingredients for Elderberry Syrup

Although Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) undergo virtually the same training as medical doctors, their services have hitherto not been covered by insurance companies in the state of New Hampshire. Two and a half years ago ND Bert Mathieson, frustrated by what struck him as “discrimination flat out,” got a sponsor for a bill that would change N.H. law. HB351 would require insurers in the state to reimburse naturopathic doctors, who emphasize illness prevention and lifestyle guidance rather than pharmaceutical or surgical procedures in their practice.

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Health Insurance
9:46 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Why Your Drug Copay Could Change

How much a medicine costs you could vary depending on the value your insurer assigns to treatment.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 12:00 pm

What if how much you paid for a drug was based on how much it might help you, instead of the sticker price?

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Supreme Court's Medicaid Decision Could Reach Far Beyond Health Care

The final argument the Supreme Court will hear about the new health care law is whether its Medicaid expansion unfairly forces states to participate.
Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 10:56 am

After Tuesday's judicial fireworks, the Supreme Court wraps up arguments on the new health care law Wednesday by focusing on two questions. The first involves what would happen if the "individual mandate" — the core of the law that requires most people to have health insurance — is struck down. Would the rest of the law fall, too, or could some provisions stay?

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