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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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?