NHPR: The Suddenly Crowded New Hampshire Health Exchange
Two more insurance companies say they plan to sell policies in New Hampshire’s health exchange in 2015, bringing the total to five carriers. The suddenly crowded field is a sharp contrast to this year, when only Anthem is offering policies through healthcare.gov.
Harvard Pilgrim and Minuteman Health, both based in Massachusetts, announced their intentions to join the exchange earlier this year, and now the New Hampshire Insurance Department says Assurant Health and Maine Community Health Options have also submitted plans for regulatory review.
Assurant currently sells Affordable Care Act-compliant policies in 41 states, and plans to offer a broad network of providers in New Hampshire.
Like Minuteman, Maine Community is a member-run co-op backed by $65 million in federal loans. It has grabbed 80% of sign-ups in the individual market in Maine this year, where its only competition is a limited-network plan offered by Anthem.
CEO Kevin Lewis says all this participation is good for New Hampshire.
“We are a firm believer that competition does good things for consumers in terms of offering more choices and giving consumers more clout,” says Lewis.
Maine Community will only offer products in Rockingham, Strafford, Carroll and Coos Counties in 2015, but hopes to expand in coming years.
All five insurance companies still need approval from both the state and federal government.