Requires Insurance Department to hold public hearings and
receive comment on health insurance exchange products
Concord, NH – The State Senate today passed legislation designed to ensure New Hampshire residents are better informed and given the opportunity to provide feedback on the insurance products offered to them on the federal insurance exchange created by ObamaCare. The bill’s prime sponsor, Sen. Sam Cataldo, R-Farmington, filed the legislation following the confusion and disappointment created last year by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield’s limited network exchange offering.
“My constituents and our community hospital were left in the dark last year when the decision was made to implement the narrow provider network that restricted access to nearly half of the state’s hospitals,” said Sen. Cataldo. “New Hampshire residents were told they could keep their doctor under the federal health care law. Then, overnight and without warning or the chance to comment, thousands of our residents found out that was not true based on decisions made behind closed doors. This legislation seeks to prevent these kinds of network blackouts in the future by offering ample opportunity for public comment in order to ensure our insurance regulators understand full-well the implications of these decisions on our citizen’s health care.”
As adopted, Senate Bill 340 will require the Insurance Department to hold two public information sessions in different regions of the state prior to approving products for sale on the federal health care exchange. The bill will also allow insurance carriers additional time to amend their product offerings to address issues raised during the public hearings.
SB340 passed the Senate on a voice vote and now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.