The New Hampshire Senate
Republican Majority Office
Network reductions a result of the costs associated with ObamaCare mandates
Concord, NH – Members of the Joint Health Care Oversight Committee learned today that the costs imposed by ObamaCare will result in significant reductions to the Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield hospital network. These access reductions will impact insurance plans sold on and off the ObamaCare exchanges set to open in October.
Representatives from Anthem testified before the committee that the taxes and fees associated with the federal law as well as the essential benefits changes mandated by the ObamaCare exchanges necessitated the plan adjustments in order to prevent significant cost increases. Despite the reductions, however, the representatives also testified that price increases are still expected next year.
Following the hearing, Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) said: “When Anthem’s new network contracts go into effect at the start of next year, families throughout New Hampshire are going to receive a real wake-up call on the costs and consequences of ObamaCare. Despite repeated promises from Washington that this health care takeover would not affect the doctor-patient relationship, today’s news shows yet again that it will, and that this scheme was a bad deal for New Hampshire. We must continue to monitor the implementation of this law and this new health care rationing closely, and as a legislature we must be willing to step in when the best interests of patients, providers and taxpayers are at risk.”
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Andy Sanborn (R-Bedford) said: “These reductions are going to limit the options individuals have under their insurance plans. Here in Concord and in cities and towns large and small across New Hampshire, patients are going to have to travel further to receive care. It is troublesome that the executive branch knew about these network reductions back in July and, despite what they would mean to patients, still saw fit to approve these contracts. And now, they are declining to answer important, fundamental questions about what they will mean for the citizens of New Hampshire.”
Citing confidentiality requirements, representatives of the State Department of Insurance declined to answer questions about plan specifics. The Department did confirm the plans were submitted by Anthem on July 1, 2013, and that the Department did send them to the federal government for final approval on July 31, 2013.
The Joint Health Care Oversight Committee’s next meeting is scheduled for October 2, 2013, after the final approval of the Anthem plans as well as the opening of the ObamaCare exchange marketplace.