Obamacare

NHPR Staff

Former U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta is starting a "health care listening tour" at one of the hospitals excluded from the provider network for health plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act.

Guinta, a Republican hoping to regain the seat he lost to Democrat Carol Shea-Porter in 2012, on Thursday is visiting Frisbie Memorial Hospital. The hospital is a vocal critic of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield's new narrow provider network.

Data: U.S. Health and Human Services

After a slow start, December saw a surge in the number of New Hampshire residents shopping for health insurance on the new exchange. The federal government reports nearly 10,000 consumers in the state selected a plan between Dec. 1 and Dec. 28.

In total, about 11,500 people selected a plan during the first three months of open enrollment, which runs through March 31. 

A New Hampshire-based accountable care organization created under the federal Affordable Care Act is expanding to include three more hospitals.

Under the accountable care organization model, networks of doctors and health care providers work together to provide high-quality, coordinated care for their patients while trying to limit unnecessary spending. Participants are required to meet quality standards for patient outcomes and other measures.

truthout.org / Flickr Creative Commons

Twenty-fourteen is when the rubber hits road for the ACA, with new deadlines and new requirements kicking in. These include the so-called individual mandate, which says everyone must carry health insurance or pay a penalty.  We’re talking about what to expect in the Granite State in 2014.

GUESTS:

  • Todd Bookman- NHPR’s health reporter
  • Jay Hancock – reporter for Kaiser Health News

Now that the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, has launched, just how affordable will it make health insurance in New Hampshire? We hosted a special panel featuring Laura Knoy, host of NHPR's The Exchange, along with Tiffany Eddy of the Live Free or Die Alliance for a town hall discussion broadcast live on the web on Tuesday, November 19th. Here's an edited version for Friday's broadcast.

Guests:

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]

The Sidebar: Obamacare: Tales From The Front Lines

Nov 19, 2013

If you’ve been following the rollout of the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire, you might be struggling to keep up with the twists and turns - from legislation passed in 2012 that barred creation of a state-run marketplace, to the thousands of letters Anthem Blue Cross mailed to policyholders this month, telling them their health plans did not meet the law’s coverage standards.

It's unclear how New Hampshire would be affected by President Barack Obama's announcement that insurance companies can keep offering plan that would otherwise be canceled.

Obama said Thursday that insurers can continue to sell polices canceled under his health care overhaul law for at least one more year to existing customers.

Officials at New Hampshire's insurance department are still evaluating the change and expect to know more on Friday.

Now that the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, has launched, just how affordable will it make health insurance in New Hampshire? We hosted a special panel featuring Laura Knoy, host of NHPR's The Exchange, along with Tiffany Eddy of the Live Free or Die Alliance for a town hall discussion broadcast live on the web on Tuesday, November 19th. 

You can listen to the unedited audio from the event right here:

NHPR Staff

 

Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has introduced a measure that would give people at least a two-month extension to make up for time lost to website glitches to sign up for health insurance plans under the new federal health care overhaul law.

The open-enrollment period current ends March 31, 2014.

The measure also would give the Health and Human Services Secretary flexibility to further extend enrollment if Healthcare.gov isn't fully functional as of Dec 1.

The head of a New Hampshire hospital is threatening legal action over being excluded from the network of providers under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Al Felgar — CEO of Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester — is seeking a rehearing from the Department of Insurance over the failure by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield to include his hospital and health care providers in the network of providers. If the hearing is denied, the hospital is prepared to file a lawsuit, a hospital spokesman said Thursday.

Many New Hampshire residents who buy their own health insurance are finding cancelation notices in their mailbox. Anthem, the state’s largest carrier, says it’s dropping more than two-thirds of its individual plans because they don’t satisfy new regulations in the Affordable Care Act.

Linda Allen of Allen Associates in Manchester says her brokerage house has been flooded with calls about the discontinuation notice.

“I’d say our phone is ringing probably triple what it usually does with questions from our clients and from people who are not our clients,” says Allen.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

The rollout of the Affordable Care Act has been called many things – smooth is not one of them.  Once attention shifted from the government shutdown to the October 1st launch of the website healthcare.gov, pundits, reporters, and politicians on both sides of the aisle have condemned glitches and delays as irresponsible and ultimately, unnecessary.  We decided to play a little thought experiment…what if, instead of the government, one of America’s tech giants had been in charge of the site for applying for and purchasing health insurance?  What if instead of healthcare.gov, we had “i-healthcare?”  “Or Google Health?”  What if Mark Zuckerberg were asked to spearhead the “Facebook Health Exchange?”

Joining me to speculate on how the rollout might have gone differently is Rob Fleischman, Chief Technology Officer at Xero-Cole, and our regular oracle of all things digital. Also joining us is David Ewalt, senior editor at Forbes who writes about technology, games, space and other geeky stuff.

Sen. Ayotte Calls For "Time Out" On Obamacare

Nov 4, 2013

As the Obama Administration scrambles to fix the healthcare.gov website, New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte is weighing in on the issue.  

New Hampshire Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen is asking the Obama Administration to extend the deadline for enrollment in the new Obamacare health exchanges.  This move follows the rocky rollout of the insurance registration website.  

NHPR Staff

As website glitches make it difficult for consumers to sign up for health insurance under the new federal health care overhaul law, New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is requesting for an extension on the open-enrollment period beyond March 31, 2014.

In a letter to President Barack Obama, Shaheen suggested the extension to provide greater flexibility for people seeking access to health insurance.

We've heard a lot about the new health insurance exchanges (A.K.A. marketplaces) since they launched this month. What follows is a blog of my attempts to navigate New Hampshire's marketplace. So far, it's been an error-ridden process with recurring visits to a virtual waiting room.

Day 1: October 1st

11:15 a.m.

Creating an account. 

Using Google Chrome browser, I go to Healthcare.gov. I click log in at the top right corner of the first screen.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Open enrollment began today for the New Hampshire health insurance marketplace.

istock photo

As the Affordable Care Act’s enrollment period opens, some affiliated healthcare providers are reaching out to uninsured Granite Staters.


401(K) 2013 via Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire is getting a $3 million federal grant to fight unreasonable increases in health insurance rates and to make pricing more transparent.

The grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is part of the federal Affordable Care Act. The goal is to support state efforts to review health insurance rate increases, educate consumers and hold insurance companies accountable.

WUKY

Enrollment begins soon for the on-line health insurance “exchanges” or marketplaces. So far, in this state, only one insurer is taking part…with a product that offers lower cost but a narrower network.  We’ll look at the rollout of this one component of Obamacare.and what it could mean for the Granite State.

GUESTS:

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