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NH Insurance Commissioner: Some Residents Will See Steep Rate Increases in 2018

24,000 Granite Staters who don’t receive federal subsidy through HealthCare.gov will be affected

CONCORD, NH — As open enrollment for individual health insurance plans approaches, the New Hampshire Insurance Department cautions residents that some will experience steep rate increases for 2018. The Department offers resources to help people understand their options and select the best plan for their budget and health care needs.

“It’s important to note that not everyone who buys an individual health insurance plan will be affected: The roughly 29,000 New Hampshire residents who receive federal subsidies through HealthCare.gov likely won’t experience much change in what they actually pay in monthly premiums,” said New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny.“However, the 24,000 residents who don’t qualify for a federal subsidy or who buy a plan outside HealthCare.gov will see an average increase of 52 percent. We realize what a difficult situation those people will face and want to make sure they have all the information and resources available in order to help them make decisions.”

People who currently have a policy will receive a renewal letter from their insurance company. To find a more accurate estimate of what they will pay in monthly premium, consumers should use the plan preview tool on HealthCare.gov. Residents can enter basic information about their household, and the tool will provide premium estimates and 2018 plan information. Consumers will need to return to the website during the open enrollment period to enroll in a plan. The Insurance Department advises all policyholders to shop around for 2018 – even those who like their current plan. There may be a 2018 plan that is a better fit, in terms of cost or benefits.

Those who purchase insurance through HealthCare.gov should update their applications on the site when open enrollment begins on November 1 and update their 2018 “tax household” and estimated income. If people meet the income qualifications for the state’s expanded Medicaid, or Premium Assistance Program, they will be directed to apply for a health insurance plan through the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. If people qualify for Advance Premium Tax Credits through HealthCare.gov, they are not likely to see large increases in their premium cost — what they pay in 2018 is likely to remain similar to what they are paying this year.

People will be notified if they are qualified to receive Cost Sharing Reduction assistance after submitting their application on HealthCare.gov. CSRs reduce out-of-pocket expenses on silver “metal-level” plans only. Although the federal government recently announced that it would end cost-sharing reduction payments to companies operating on HealthCare.gov, companies will continue to provide this benefit to consumers, at least through the end of 2018.

If consumers do not qualify for federal financial assistance, they should consider looking at individual plans both on HealthCare.gov and sold directly through an insurance company or through an agent or broker to find the most affordable option. The Insurance Department website features links to insurance agents who can assist people:  https://www.nh.gov/insurance/consumers/mp_plans.htm, and HealthCare.gov offers a similar feature:  https://localhelp.healthcare.gov.

Health Savings Accounts are available for “high deductible health plans” to help consumers set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses. Consumers can learn more about HSAs by talking to an insurance agent or broker.

People who do not qualify for APTCs and who are unable to afford premiums may qualify for an exemption from the tax penalty if the lowest-cost bronze plan available on HealthCare.gov is more than 8.16% of their household income. This would not provide the consumer with coverage, but it would allow for an exemption from the individual mandate fine.

“Rates in 2018 saw such a dramatic increase because of rising medical and pharmaceutical costs, instability in Washington, and the federal government’s decision to eliminate key funding to insurance companies,” said Commissioner Sevigny. “My staff and I saw the potential for this scenario and worked with insurance companies, Governor Sununu, and the New Hampshire Legislature to explore options for addressing it. Unfortunately, none of those options were viable for the coming year. We continue to work to address high rates in 2019 and to keep this market viable so that it serves the needs of consumers.”

To compare 2018 individual plans available through HealthCare.gov: https://www.healthcare.gov/see-plans/ or https://www.nh.gov/insurance/lah/documents/nhid_plan_compare_2018.pdf

To see which NH hospitals are available through which networks in 2018: https://www.nh.gov/insurance/lah/documents/py2018_nh_ hospnw.pdf

More information for New Hampshire residents about open enrollment may be found on the Insurance Department’s website: https://www.nh.gov/insurance/media/pr/2017/documents/10-18-17-nhid-2018-open-enrollment-information-1.pdf

About The New Hampshire Insurance Department:  The New Hampshire Insurance Department’s mission is to promote and protect the public good by ensuring the existence of a safe and competitive insurance marketplace through the development and enforcement of the insurance laws of the State of New Hampshire. For more information, visit http://www.nh.gov/insurance.

NH Insurance Department Issues Winter Weather Tips

Concord – With the year’s first snowstorm on the way, the New Hampshire Insurance Department urges residents to take all possible precautions. 

“It’s always best to be prepared for the worst when winter weather hits,” said New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny. “In the event of an accident or in case your home is damaged, the New Hampshire Insurance Department can offer guidance on how to work with your insurance company.”

What to do if you’re in a car accident:

• Call the police.

• Obtain the names, addresses, telephone numbers, insurance information, and driver’s license numbers of everyone involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses.

• Record the time, date, location, road conditions, make and year of vehicles involved, apparent damages and injuries, and your version of what happened.

• Call your insurance agent or company to report the incident as soon as possible. Ask your agent what documents, forms, and data you will need.

• Take photos of the cars, the surrounding area, and the license plates of the other vehicles involved.

• Take notes each time you talk with your insurance company, agent, lawyers, police or others involved in the situation. Write down the dates, times, names and subjects you talked about, as well as any decisions or promises made.

• Ask your insurance company if you have coverage for a rental vehicle if your car is not drivable. Save all receipts and bills, including those from renting a car or having your car towed and/or stowed.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers an auto checklist – download it: http://www.insureuonline.org/auto_accident_checklist.pdf. It’s also available as a free app for your smart phone: http://www.insureuonline.org/insureu_getready_newcar.htm.

 

What to do if your home is damaged:

• Call your insurance company or agent as soon as possible. Have your policy number and other relevant information in hand. Cooperate fully with the insurance company, and ask what documents, forms and data you will need.

• Take photographs/video of the damage.

• Make the repairs necessary to prevent further damage to your property (i.e., cover broken windows, leaking roofs and damaged walls). Do not make any permanent repairs until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement on the cost of repairs.

• Save all receipts, including those from the temporary repairs covered by your insurance policy.

• If the damage is so severe that you must stay elsewhere, ask your insurance company if you have coverage for additional living expenses incurred while repairs are being made. Save all receipts to document these costs.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers a free, downloadable home inventory checklist: http://www.insureuonline.org/home_inventory_checklist.pdf. You also may download a free home inventory app for your mobile phone: http://www.insureuonline.org/insureu_special_disaster.htm

What types of damage are likely to be covered?

• Wind

• Damage to the exterior of your home or other structures from wind-driven rain

• Tree damage to your home, garage, or other property

• Other falling objects

• The collapse of a structure due to weight of ice or snow

• Damage to your home’s interior from ice dam or ice backup 

Frozen pipes might not be covered if the damage is due to negligence, such as failing to maintain an adequate temperature in the house when the ability to do so is there. Check your policy and call your insurance agent or company if you need clarification or have specific questions. 

What types of damage are not likely to be covered by a standard homeowners’ policy?

• Damage as the result of a flood

• Removal of fallen trees (if the trees do not damage your home or other property, or block your driveway)

• Food spoilage due to a power outage

• Water damage from backed-up drains or sewers

Some insurers offer endorsements (i.e., additional protection that may be purchased) for certain things not covered in a standard homeowners’ policy. Check with your agent or company to see if additional coverage makes sense for you.

The New Hampshire Insurance Department can help:

Contact us with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your insurance coverage at 1-800-852-3416 or (603) 271-1406, or by email at consumerservices@ins.nh.gov. If you wish to file a grievance, you may call, email, or submit a complaint electronically or by mail or fax: http://www.nh.gov/insurance/consumers/complaints.htm.

The New Hampshire Insurance Department’s mission is to promote and protect the public good by ensuring the existence of a safe and competitive insurance marketplace through the development and enforcement of the insurance laws of the State of New Hampshire. For more information, visit www.nh.gov/insurance.

NH Insurance Commissioner to Host 2 Public Listening Sessions in May

Feedback Sought from NH residents on Health Insurance Questions

CONCORD, NH – New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny will host two listening sessions in the state in May to solicit feedback from residents on health insurance issues.

“We are here to serve the residents of New Hampshire, and we hope these public listening sessions will provide an opportunity for them to connect with us and let us know how we can better help them,” Commissioner Sevigny said. “The feedback will be used to help guide the Insurance Department as it works to improve the information and services offered to health insurance consumers in the state.”

The first public information session will be held May 7 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, 101 South Commercial St., Manchester.

The second session will be held on May 21 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Inter-Lakes High School Community Auditorium, 1 Laker Lane, Meredith.

To RSVP, please email danielle.barrick@ins.nh.gov and specify which session you will attend.

The sessions will be an opportunity for the Insurance Department to hear from the public. Commissioner Sevigny will discuss health insurance regulation — including what the Department does for the public — and will answer related questions.

The New Hampshire Insurance Department’s mission is to promote and protect the public good by ensuring the existence of a safe and competitive insurance marketplace through the development and enforcement of the insurance laws of the State of New Hampshire. For more information, visit www.nh.gov/insurance.

Retiree’s Will See Massive Increases From ACA’s “Cadillac Tax”

Exorbitant Increase of PBGC Multiemployer Insurance Premium Is Attack on Seniors, Robbing Them of What They Worked for Their Entire Lives

“Even Scrooge Couldn’t Stomach Such a Holiday Season Attack on Retirees”

Washington, D.C. – LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – today urged Congress to reject a proposal which would dramatically increase insurance premiums for multiemployer pension plans, devastating millions of current and future retirees.

“Even Scrooge couldn’t stomach such a holiday season attack on retirees,” LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan said. “For generations, multiemployer plans have provided financial security and dignity for Americans after a life of hard work. This is an attack on seniors, widows and all retirees. They made our country what it is, yet this robs them of what they have worked for their entire lives.”

Currently, multi-employer plans pay an insurance premium to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation to provide for partial pension payments if a plan fails. A proposal currently being considered in Congress would increase the premiums at least 300%.

LIUNA’s multiemployer pension plans cover hundreds of thousands of retirees and their families. Across the country, more than 10 million retirees rely on multiemployer plans, some of which continue to suffer from Wall Street losses during the recession. LIUNA, along with numerous other multiemployer groups, support reforms which would provide the time and tools needed to strengthen the plans at no cost to the public.

“We are not looking for a bailout,” O’Sullivan said. “But we find it insulting and egregious that while Congress can’t muster the courage to pass a needed gas tax or other proposals, they would even consider what amounts to a devastating tax on retirement funds to bail out the PBGC. It is as illogical, immoral and insane as destroying a village to save it.”

For LIUNA alone, the premium increase would cost retirement plans at least $100 million in just the next five years – resources that would otherwise benefit current and future retirees.

“Such an increase in premiums could force many plans to go under,” O’Sullivan said. “We support components of reforms that Congress is considering, but the addition of an exorbitant premium tax is a poison pill retirees cannot swallow.”

Maine Community Health Options To Provide Coverage Across New Hampshire In 2015


Nonprofit Insurance Carrier Awarded
$67.6 Million by CMS to Support Statewide Expansion
 

Concord, NH – Maine Community Health Options (MCHO) today announced its award of $67.6 million in additional financing from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to support its full statewide New Hampshire expansion. As a nonprofit, Member-directed Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP), MCHO is now able to bring its plan offerings to benefit consumers through all of New Hampshire in 2015. MCHO’s proposed plans for the Marketplace in 2015 have been approved by the New Hampshire Insurance Department and are presently under review at CMS.

When asked about the rationale for expanding into New Hampshire, Kevin Lewis, chief executive officer of MCHO explained, “On the basis of our success in Maine, we will bring great benefits at affordable pricing to all people in New Hampshire. We offer a new model for health insurance, and people have responded positively. On the strength of our experience, we bring to New Hampshire desirable plan designs with an eye for improving health outcomes at lower costs to our Members.” MCHO garnered national attention earlier this year when it was highlighted as a high-performing CO-OP insurance company, securing 83% of the market share of the Marketplace business in Maine.

Today’s announcement about MCHO’s geographic expansion reflects MCHO’s dedication to bringing new options to the people of the Granite State in the upcoming year. MCHO’s broad network of providers is a contrast to narrow network approaches that have excluded certain hospitals and providers in 2014.

“Our plan is one of the few that includes a broad provider network,” said Robert Hillman, MCHO’s chief operating officer. “This is an important hallmark for us, as we want to help ensure that people can get the health care they need within their community. Partnering with providers and patients is central to our mission of providing comprehensive, Member-focused, and Member-led health insurance benefits for individuals, families and businesses.”

Of the total new CMS lending, $64.8 million is specifically allocated for the anticipated increase in reserves necessary per state and federal requirements for both Maine and New Hampshire combined. Both development and solvency loans will be repaid to the federal government within five and 15 years respectively.

About Maine Community Healthy Options:

Licensed in both Maine and New Hampshire, Maine Community Health Options (MCHO) is the Maine-based Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) dedicated to providing affordable, high-quality health benefits through productive partnerships with their Members and a broad network of providers throughout its service areas.  For more information about MCHO, visit the website: www.maineoptions.org.

Garcia’s Party Line Opposition To The ACA Leaves Unanswered Questions About Her Health Insurance

obamacare-playbookMarilinda Garcia, the Republican candidate for Congress in the Second District, says she’s adamantly opposed to the Affordable Care Act. But how is she getting her healthcare?

Garcia seemed to be stumped when a NHPR reporter question her about her own healthcare. He asked if she got healthcare through the Affordable Care Act exchange.

Garcia: “I… that’s my own issue.”
NHPR: “So you don’t want to say?”
Garcia: “No that’s fine, I don’t need to share everything.” 

NHPR: “Is it fair to say you are not getting your health care through Obamacare, through the (federal) exchange?”
Garcia: “I don’t need to talk about that. Thank you.”

This entire exchange completely puzzles me. This is a very simple question, asked of someone who has put herself in the public arena by running for a high-level federal office.

It should have been really easy for Garcia to answer – unless Garcia she’s trying to hide the truth. Did she have healthcare insurance at all before this interview? If she had insurance before, where was she getting her insurance from?

If someone were to ask me if I get healthcare from the ACA, the answer would be, “No, I get my health insurance through my employer.” Since Marilinda was nice enough to inform us that she only has a part time job giving harp lessons, we can be pretty sure she is not getting healthcare from her employer.

Garcia’s campaign was also nice enough to tell us that Garcia is in her early 30s and is still living at home with her parents. It is too bad she is not under 26 because then she could have stayed on her parents’ healthcare plan. (How old is her sister Bianca? I wonder if she is still their parents’ healthcare plan.)

Garcia is trying, and failing, to get people to believe that – at least during this campaign – she is buying insurance from a private company on a month-to-month basis, without going through the ACA exchange in any way. Even though her campaign admits she is eligible to use the ACA exchange.

I wonder how much Garcia’s monthly insurance costs?

Marilinda Garcia (Gage Skidmore CC FLIKR)I also wonder how a harp teacher who only works part time can afford to purchase an individual policy directly from the insurer on a month-to-month basis. I can’t think of a more expensive way to buy insurance. Even the lowest-rated plans (with high deductibles and high out-of-pocket limits) cost about $350 a month.

Of course, if Marilinda gets elected, she will undoubtedly sign up for the federal healthcare plan, while she collects that $174,000-a-year Congressional paycheck.

“I want to represent those who have seen their situation go beyond the bounds of what they expected” when the law was implemented, Garcia told the Union Leader. “People were told they could keep their doctor. People were told they could keep their plans if they liked them. All of that was false.”

It’s easy for Garcia to spout negatives and toss around blame. In fact, Republicans in the US House of Representatives put together a step-by-step instruction manual on exactly how to do that. Read the House Republican Playbook here, and then try to figure out if Garcia is saying anything that wasn’t pre-scripted for her.

(Then, maybe you’ll want to consider whether scripting political attacks is a very good use of Congressional funds.)

I guess it is very easy for Garcia to blame Congresswoman Kuster and President Obama for passing healthcare reforms that have been in the works for decades. A healthcare plan that expanded access for millions of Americans. A healthcare plan that lowered premiums for tens of thousands of Granite Staters while mandating better coverage.

What happened to the “old plans” that Garcia is so nostalgic for? Those canceled policies didn’t meet the ACA’s minimum standards for health insurance. But instead of changing the policies to meet the requirements, insurers across the nation just canceled them.

Except here in New Hampshire. Here in the Granite State, Anthem is still renewing those out-of-compliance health care plans.

What happened to limit coverage? That’s private market forces at work. If you’ve been following New Hampshire health insurance for a while, maybe you remember Anthem’s contract dispute with Exeter Hospital and Core Physicians?

Anthem was not willing to negotiate or mediate, and in order to ensure uninterrupted access to high quality, local care for more than 20,000 patients who utilize the services of Exeter Hospital and Core Physicians, we had no choice but to accept Anthem’s demand for more favorable reimbursement rates.

“Although the $10 million in concessions Anthem has demanded will have a negative impact on the health care resources available to this community, we will strive to provide the very best health care services to the tens of thousands of patients we care for every year,” says Kevin Callahan, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Aren’t Republicans supposed to be in favor of market forces? But Garcia doesn’t the practical effects? (This sort of thing wouldn’t happen with Single-Payer.)

Or maybe Garcia finds it more provocative to blame the President and the incumbent Congresswoman, rather than Anthem corporate executives.

WellPoint is known as a company that lavishes money and stock on its CEOs. Braly’s predecessor, Larry Glasscock, once pulled down total disclosed annual compensation of almost $50 million. Most of that rich outlay was a stock and cash award, payable over three years, given after he ­orchestrated the 2004 merger of Anthem and WellPoint.

“Tea Party extremist Marilinda Garcia signed the Koch Brothers pledge calling to take away health care from tens of thousands of Granite State families, but refuses to say where she receives her own coverage,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Bryan Lesswing. “If Marilinda Garcia is going to make denying health coverage to hard-working Granite Staters a central part of her campaign, then voters deserve to know what she is hiding when it comes to her own health care.”

 

CONSUMER ALERT: NH Insurance Department Urges Caution For Drivers, Passengers of Ride-Share Programs

LYFT car with distinctive  pink mustache

LYFT car with distinctive pink mustache

CONCORD, NH ­­­ The New Hampshire Insurance Department cautions residents who consider signing up for fee-based services that connect drivers, riders, and vehicle owners for car-sharing and ride-sharing. Residents may be at risk if they participate in these programs without the proper insurance coverage.

Ride-share companies connect passengers with drivers who are using personal, non-commercial vehicles. Examples include companies such as Uber, Sidecar, Wingz, and Lyft, whose mobile apps even take care of payment between customer and driver.

Typically, a commercial automobile insurance policy is necessary to provide a vehicle for rent or to transport property or passengers for compensation, and drivers providing these services may not be aware that their personal automobile insurance policy may not cover the service. The Department advises residents that their personal auto insurance policies may not protect them as a passenger or driver in a ride-share program.

“I urge New Hampshire residents to consider the risk involved,” said New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny. “Car owners should check with their insurers before participating in a program like this to be sure they are covered. If they are not, they may have to pay out of their own pockets for damages and injuries, should there be an accident. And riders should be aware that, in the event of an accident, they may not have recourse to damages, as they would through a traditional taxi service.”

The New Hampshire Insurance Department urges residents to take the following steps when considering using this type of service:

Vehicle owners and drivers should:

  •  Review any type of agreement carefully.
  • Obtain a copy of the policy and ask their agent or insurance company to discern whether it covers ride-share activities.

Passengers should:

  • Find out who would be responsible if they were injured and whether insurance coverage would be available. The Department urges passengers in these situations not to waive their rights.
  • Call the New Hampshire Insurance Department at (800) 852-3416 with questions.

Please note: A traditional car-pooling arrangement by friends or neighbors who share the cost of gasoline or take turns driving is not the situation being addressed in this alert. Those types of arrangements typically are not a problem. If in doubt about an activity, before engaging in the activity, exercise caution and seek information by contacting your agent, insurance company, or the New Hampshire Insurance Department.

The New Hampshire Insurance Department’s mission is to promote and protect the public good by ensuring the existence of a safe and competitive insurance marketplace through the development and enforcement of the insurance laws of the State of New Hampshire. For more information, visit www.nh.gov/insurance.

Morgan-Stanley And The NH GOP Spread Lies About “Premium Increases Of 90%” Due To ACA

Doctor Medical HealthcareRecently the NH Union Leader posted an article — Surveys: NH health premiums up 90%; more people insured under Obamacare — about the Affordable Care Act and your insurance premiums that was so full of holes I could strain pasta with it.

The article explains Morgan-Stanley surveyed NH insurance brokers and they claim that insurance premiums have increased by 90% on average.

The NH GOP and Senator Scott Brown were quick to jump on the news in an attempt to gain support for repealing the ACA.

Morgan Stanley’s healthcare analysts conducted the proprietary survey of 148 brokers.” (Forbes)

After reading the report, I found that Morgan-Stanley only questioned one broker in New Hampshire.  This means the claim that premiums increased by 90%, was only one persons assessment.  Would you believe that a report is representative of NH with an interview from one person?  That is like taking your crazy uncle Larry as a representative of the entire State of New Hampshire.

At least Dave Solomon was fair in sharing some of the opposition to the Morgan-Stanley report.

Lisa Kaplan Howe, policy director at New Hampshire Voices for Health in Concord, said the Morgan-Stanley report is not necessarily an accurate reflection of the reality on the ground, since it surveyed only insurance brokers.

‘Many of the people who enroll in individual market coverage enroll on their own, through the website or through assisters,” she said. “So just talking to brokers isn’t getting the full picture.’”

There is no denying that insurance rates go up every year. This is no different from the price of milk, eggs, or Big Mac’s. This was just one of the reasons that Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in an effort to slow the rapidly rising costs of healthcare.

There is one place that does more than survey insurance brokers’, they calculate insurance premium costs for all Granite Staters.  Danielle Kronk Barrick, Director of Communications for the NH Department of Insurance, also investigated these claims by Morgan-Stanley, and this is what the DOI found.

Premium rates in New Hampshire, in the aggregate, did not go up 90%. An independent actuarial analysis modeling the Affordable Care Act impact on New Hampshire policyholders found that, on average, NH policyholders will realize an 8% rate decrease after subsidies. 

Individual experiences may vary significantly. The Department stands ready to review and consider any consumer’s experience. People who have received a rate increase they are concerned about should contact the Department. 

We would like to see the survey, but we were told it was proprietary and confidential. We don’t understand how Morgan Stanley is able to generalize what’s going on in the New Hampshire market based on talking to 158 brokers nationally. 

We do data-driven analysis based on what’s happened in the past and have actuarial projections. We also review rate increases and do not approve any increases that cannot be justified with data. 

The truth is that not everyone saw savings after the Affordable Care Act was passed, but overall more Granite Staters saw a decrease in their premiums than those who saw an increase.

*******

 

More information from the NH DOI on Healthcare Premiums

Here is a link to our projections, which were done by Gorman Actuarial in 2012 — we reviewed and approved the 2014 rates, and they were in line with Gorman’s projections: http://www.nh.gov/insurance/reports/documents/gorman_nh_mktstdy_kf.pdf

 

For more context, here is a link to our 2013 annual report: http://www.nh.gov/insurance/reports/documents/nhid_ann_rrhrng_2013rpt.pdf

 

Consumers may reach the New Hampshire Insurance Department by emailing consumerservices@ins.nh.gov or calling (603)271-2261.

 

 

NH Rep Shea-Porter and Rep Kuster Introduce Continuous Coverage Fix to Affordable Care Act

Coverage Protection Act of 2013 would provide retroactive insurance coverage to Granite Staters who encountered technical issues during enrollment

Carol Shea Porter Official PhotoWASHINGTON, DC – New Hampshire Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Annie Kuster (NH-02) have introduced legislation to extend the payment deadline for people who were unable to complete the health insurance sign-up process because of website difficulties and processing delays. The Coverage Protection Act of 2013 would ensure that Granite Staters who encountered difficulties signing up for insurance through Healthcare.gov receive retroactive insurance coverage during the month of January.

“It’s inexcusable that Healthcare.gov wasn’t up and running properly on October 1,” Shea-Porter said. “But this bill will correct some issues by permitting retroactive coverage for individuals who could not complete the application process online.”

Ann kuster head shot LG“There is no question that the problems with Healthcare.gov have been completely unacceptable. But instead of undermining efforts to solve problems, we should focus on moving forward and finding common sense solutions,” Kuster said. “This bill would ensure that Granite Staters who were unable to sign up for coverage because of problems with Healthcare.gov will have access to the health insurance plans they need by the beginning of next year. I’ll keep fighting to make sure that New Hampshire families get the care they deserve.”

The announcement of the Coverage Protection Act of 2013 comes following news that most insurers, including Anthem in New Hampshire, will accept payments through January 10th for health coverage that starts January 1. Shea-Porter and Kuster’s legislation would provide retroactive insurance coverage to Jan. 1, 2014, for individuals who attempt to enroll and who pay their premium by Jan. 31, 2014. In doing so, the bill ensures that people who encountered technical difficulties are not discriminated against because they don’t yet have their insurance card.

This bill is not a free ride. It offers accountability on all sides by requiring enrollees to have made an effort to enroll in an exchange plan in time to receive coverage on January 1 and pay their premiums and any applicable cost-sharing fees by January 31.

Additional original cosponsors include Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01), Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01), and Rep. Ron Barber (AZ-02).

 

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