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Entries in Insurance Exchanges (16)


NHDP - ICYMI: NH outlines proposed insurance networks 

ICYMI: AP- New Hampshire outlines proposed insurance networks
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Each New Hampshire hospital will be included in at least three of the provider networks available under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law next year, state insurance officials said Tuesday.

This year, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield was the only company selling plans through the new marketplace, and it was criticized for excluding 10 of the state's 26 acute-care hospitals. Next year, two other private insurance companies - Harvard Pilgrim and Assurant - and two cooperatives - Maine Community Health and Minuteman - are expected to begin offering plans.

All five insurers have submitted proposals to the state, which will accept public comments until July 8 and will make recommendations to the federal government by Aug. 10. Final approval will come in September, and enrollment will begin Nov. 15 for coverage that takes effect in January.

"This is a preview of what has been submitted to the department, and we have just started our review," Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny said. "It's a significant amount of work for us to look at all the plans that have been submitted, and the timeframe we have to do the work is fairly short."

If the proposals are approved, the number of plans available to New Hampshire individuals will increase from 14 to more than 50, insurance department attorney Jennifer Patterson said at a public information session. Some insurers are still negotiating with hospitals and expect to add new providers, but at least several plans will offer coverage at all 26 hospitals, she said.

All five insurers will offer individual policies, while all but Assurant also will offer small group plans.

Anthem's proposed network includes 17 New Hampshire hospitals, plus Maine Medical Center and Lahey Hospital in Massachusetts. Compared with its current network, it added Maine Medical Center, Androscoggin Valley Hospital, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center and Valley Regional Hospital while dropping Elliot Hospital, Portsmouth Hospital and Littleton Hospital. Frisbie Hospital, which has been trying to challenge its exclusion this year, is among several others that remain off Anthem's list.

Assurant Health's network will include all but Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital, while Harvard Pilgrim will have one network that includes a dozen hospitals and another that it hopes will include all 26; the company is still negotiating with Parkland Medical Center in Derry and Portsmouth Hospital.

Maine Community Health Options plans to contract with all 26 hospitals plus Maine Medical Center, but will only market its plans in four eastern counties to start. Minuteman Health's network will include 13 hospitals in Carroll, Coos, Grafton, Hillsborough, Strafford and Sullivan counties.

Another public information session will be held Thursday in Conway.


Concord - New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn released the following statement applauding the Senate Commerce Committee's vote to reject rules that would put New Hampshire on a path towards a state based ObamaCare exchange:


"I applaud the Senate Commerce Committee's vote to recommend rejecting HB 668 because this legislation would put us on a path towards a state based health care exchange. Governor Hassan is trying to circumvent a law signed by Governor Lynch that prohibits a state based exchange, and essentially establish one on her own. Her reckless behavior would expose New Hampshire taxpayers to the devastating effects of President Obama's budget busting health care law.


"Polls show that Granite Staters overwhelmingly disapprove of ObamaCare because they know that it will hurt small businesses, damage our economy and kill jobs. Governor Hassan's backdoor attempt to impose a state based ObamaCare exchange shows that she is out of touch with New Hampshire's fiscally responsible values."




According to a poll released by the University of New Hampshire on April 11, 2013, 49% of Granite Staters disapprove of ObamaCare while only 34% support it.  


HRA Comments on HB271 Expanding Medicaid

Democrats’ Medicaid Vote Today Dooms N.H. Taxpayers to Millions in New Expenses
Short-Term Payout Will Cost the State Long Term When Future Legislature Faces Revenue Shortfall
CONCORD, N.H.—With their hands recklessly reaching out for federal tax dollars with no regard for the consequences, New Hampshire House Democrats voted to doom the state to about $100 million per year in additional Medicaid costs starting at the end of the decade, according to Pam Tucker, co-chairman of the N.H. House Republican Alliance (HRA).
“New Hampshire voters should be aware that their State Legislature had an opportunity today to pass HB 271 and prevent millions of dollars of optional state Medicaid costs, but House Democrats couldn’t resist a short-term handout from Washington and voted to kill the bill,” Tucker said. “Because of this, more New Hampshire residents will be stuck with long lines and limited options for medical care under the expanded Medicaid system, and a decreasing number of New Hampshire taxpayers will have to spend more of their hard-earned dollars to cover the cost.”
Written in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that Congress cannot force states to accept major expansions to optional federal programs, HB 271 would have prevented Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion provisions from taking hold in New Hampshire. Because it didn’t pass, about 62,200 more New Hampshire citizens are expected to enroll in Medicaid by 2020, which is the same year the state will have to pay more toward the expanded program that covers everyone who earns up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. The expansion is expected to cost New Hampshire $15 million per year leading up to 2020, and then at least $50 million to $100 million per year thereafter.
If the federal government decides to reduce its promised grants for the expanded Medicaid program, as it has for its promised contribution to the special education program, the burden on New Hampshire taxpayers could be even more dramatic. For the special education program, federal contributions have hovered around 15 percent in most years despite the initial promise of 40 percent per year in 1975. Whether the Medicaid money materializes or not; however, N.H. taxpayers will be hit with higher costs of government with no measurable benefit to society at large.
“Perhaps hospitals will make more money as they pass the costs of this Medicaid expansion on to patients who use health insurance, and health insurance firms will benefit by raising their premiums, but don’t let anyone tell you that new Medicaid enrollees will be happy with the result of the Democrats’ vote today,” Tucker said. “Medicaid is a bare-bones medical payer system that is not accepted by some of the state’s providers. The expansion of this government-run program does nothing other than increase the costs of medical care for the meager benefit of a few. Ultimately, the cost of the expansion will destroy opportunities for job creation and stifle the economy.”
Due to political pressure from special interest groups and the dollars involved, it will be difficult for New Hampshire to opt-out of the Medicaid expansion once it is underway, but it will still be legally possible.
“The year 2020 is just around the corner, and New Hampshire already struggles to pay for the entitlement programs we have today,” Tucker said. “The 2014 election could be the last chance New Hampshire voters have of stopping this expense, but they have to be diligent in electing Republicans who will honor their oath to the state and federal constitutions and stand by the principles of limited government and liberty.”



NH House Republican Leader Comments on Defeat of Bill Prohibiting Medicaid Expansion

CONCORD – Today House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) offered the following reaction to the defeat of HB271, which would have prohibited New Hampshire from accepting expanded Medicaid. The bill was defeated by a vote of 206-155.

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“There is no such thing as free money. Every federal dollar we would receive for Medicaid expansion would come out the pockets of hard working Americans for this government expansion. As we know from past experience, the Federal government cannot be trusted to uphold their end of the bargain. It’s very possible that federal funding levels will drop leaving New Hampshire tax payers on the hook for possibly hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Once New Hampshire enters into such a program, we cannot pull back coverage, even if it becomes unaffordable. We also know implementation of expanded Medicaid will involve tens millions of dollars in direct cost to the State. Expanded Medicaid undermines New Hampshire’s current and future fiscal health. HB271 would have prevented putting our State in this precarious situation.”


HRA comments on Expanded Medicaid 

House Republican Alliance URGES N.H. House to Block Medicaid Expansion
HB 271 Would Save Taxpayers Millions and Prevent Further Government Dependency
CONCORD, N.H.—A bill up for a vote in the N.H. House tomorrow would block the expansion of Medicaid in New Hampshire under Obamacare, saving taxpayers millions of dollars and protecting thousands of residents from dependence on a failing system, according to Pam Tucker, co-chair of the N.H. House Republican Alliance.
HB 271 would seize a rare opportunity offered in the U.S. Supreme Court Obamacare decision that gave states an out from Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion provisions.
Proponents of Medicaid attempt to sell the expansion on the idea that the federal government would cover most of its cost up front, but New Hampshire taxpayers would be responsible for at least $15 million of the cost each year through 2019 and then up to $100 million per year after that—and that’s in a best-case scenario.
“When our state’s budget is stretched to its limit every two years even without this new entitlement, how is the Legislature going to come up with another $100 million each year without a new broad-based tax to pay for it?,” Tucker said. “Government has already grown so large that it impedes the growth of our state’s economy by taking money out of the hands of private-sector job creators. The new spending under a Medicaid expansion is the exact opposite approach we need to facilitate new jobs and get the state’s economy back on track.”
What’s worse, the Medicaid expansion could cost New Hampshire even more money if history repeats itself. There hasn’t been one year since Congress passed a special education law in 1975 that the federal government has given states the 40 percent contribution it promised. The federal contribution has only rarely risen above 15 percent, and the highest it ever reached was 32 percent.
“With Congress looking for more areas to cut spending in the next few years, its Medicaid contribution could easily become its next broken promise,” Tucker said. “Even with the federal government’s full contribution to an expanded Medicaid system, fewer New Hampshire residents will be supporting the failing system for even more people. What happens when there are no taxpayers left because no one can support the cost of their own medical care?”
Because Medicaid pays medical care facilities below their market rate for products and services, fewer facilities are accepting Medicaid as payment for service. That means the growing number of people with Medicaid due to the expansion would be forced into longer lines at fewer facilities with insufficient services at their disposal. At the same time, those facilities that do accept Medicaid would pass their losses on to patients who buy health insurance, which would continue to drive up the cost for medical care.
“There may be money on the table to pay for the Medicaid expansion up front, but even in a best-case scenario New Hampshire’s burden will be too great in just a few years,” Tucker said. “We urge the House to pass HB 271 on to the Senate to seize the rare opportunity to avoid another underfunded mandate from Washington.”