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Get Covered: NH Insurance Department Reminds NH Residents Open Enrollment Ends December 15

CONCORD, NH – Open enrollment for individual health insurance (on and off HealthCare.gov) ends this Friday, December 15 at 11:59 P.M. The first premium needs to be paid by the insurance company’s due date before the 2018 coverage will take effect. Coverage will begin on January 1, 2018.

“Governor Sununu and the Insurance Department want to make sure that people are aware their last chance to sign up for a 2018 plan is this Friday,” said Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny. “If you still have questions about what plan is best for you, reach out to an insurance agent or broker or a Navigator for help understanding your options.”

New Hampshire residents should be aware that there are only three companies selling qualified health plans: Anthem, Ambetter, and Harvard Pilgrim. If a consumer purchased coverage from a different company, the plan may not offer them full coverage of services. Individuals who have questions about the plans they purchased may contact the NH Insurance Department’s Consumer Services unit for assistance by calling 1-800-852-3416 or (603) 271-2261, or by email at consumerservices@ins.nh.gov.

If a consumer needs assistance selecting a plan during the open enrollment period, the Insurance Department recommends that they contact an insurance agent or broker or a Federal Navigator. Residents can receive assistance from these types of in-person assisters at no additional cost during the open enrollment period. The Insurance Department’s website features a federally-created list of agents and brokers who are certified to sell plans on HealthCare.gov, although many also sell plans outside of HealthCare.gov. Consumers may also visit the Find Local Help tool on HealthCare.gov to find a local agent or broker by zip code.

Even if a consumer likes their 2017 plan, they should still update their application on HealthCare.gov and shop and compare options for 2018. The only way to receive an accurate financial assistance amount for 2018 is to update and submit an application on the website. If consumers who purchase coverage through HealthCare.gov do not take any action they will be automatically enrolled into a plan by HealthCare.gov that is considered “similar” to their current plan; but that plan may not have a similar premium, and their doctors and prescription drugs may not be in network. That plan will not be effective unless the consumer pays the first premium.

Outside of the open enrollment period, the only way residents can enroll in an individual insurance plan is if they qualify for a special enrollment period, typically the 60 days following certain qualifying life events.

Minuteman Health members have a special enrollment period until March 1, 2018, but need to enroll by December 31st to avoid a gap in coverage. For more information visit here.

The NH Insurance Department Can Help:

More information for New Hampshire residents about open enrollment may be found on the Insurance Department’s website. If you have questions about or issues with using the Marketplace and obtaining coverage, please call the federal government at (800) 318-2596. Once you have coverage, please contact the Insurance Department with questions or concerns at 1-800-852-3416 or (603) 271-2261, or by email at consumerservices@ins.nh.gov.
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 Guidance to Consumers on Finding Help with Insurance Enrollment

CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Insurance Department encourages consumers who need to select a health insurance plan during the open enrollment period to seek the help of an insurance agent or broker or a Federal Navigator, if needed. Residents can receive assistance from these types of in-person assisters at no additional cost during the open enrollment period. Open enrollment began November 1 and ends December 15, 2017.

Insurance agents and brokers can assist consumers with enrolling in a health insurance plan through HealthCare.gov, through an agent or broker, or directly from an insurer. Agents and brokers can recommend specific plans to their clients based on their health care needs and budget, and appointments are free during open enrollment. The Insurance Department encourages consumers who do not receive premium assistance on HealthCare.gov to seek help from an agent or broker to identify all plan options. The Insurance Department website features a federally-created list of agents and brokers who are certified to sell plans on HealthCare.gov, although many also sell plans outside of HealthCare.gov. Consumers may also visit the Find Local Help tool on HealthCare.gov to find a local agent or broker.

Navigators are funded and trained by the federal government to provide free help to consumers, small businesses, and their employees as they look for health coverage options through the Marketplace, including completing eligibility and enrollment forms. They are required to be unbiased, meaning they cannot recommend a specific plan. Certified Application Counselors are certified by the federal government and are based at nonprofit organizations and hospitals. NH residents can find a Navigator using the Find Local Help tool on HealthCare.gov.

Even if consumers like their 2017 plan, they should still shop and compare options for 2018, and they can do this with in-person help. The options available are changing for 2018, meaning some 2017 plans may not be available. All Minuteman Health plans will terminate on December 31, 2017. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care will not offer its New Hampshire Network plans on HealthCare.gov for 2018, but it will offer its ElevateHealth Network. If NH residents have the Harvard Pilgrim New Hampshire Network, they will need to review their provider needs and select a plan accordingly. Network and prescription drug formulary information for 2018 plans sold on HealthCare.gov can be found here.

Plans may also change their in-network providers and prescription drug coverage from year to year. If consumers don’t take any action, HealthCare.gov will automatically enroll them in a plan that is considered “similar” to their current plan; but that plan may not have a similar premium, and their doctors and prescription drugs may not be in network.

NH residents with 2017 coverage received a renewal letter from their insurance company – but the letter’s estimate of what they may pay in monthly premium might be not accurate if they receive a subsidy. This is because precise subsidy information was not available at the time the letters were prepared. If a consumer qualifies for subsidies on HealthCare.gov, the Insurance Department encourages those individuals to use the plan preview tool to get an estimate of their subsidy and premium amounts for 2018.

The NH Insurance Department Can Help:

More information for New Hampshire residents about open enrollment may be found on the Insurance Department’s website. If you have questions about or issues with using the Marketplace and obtaining coverage, please call the federal government at (800) 318-2596. Once you have coverage, please contact the Insurance Department with questions or concerns at 1-800-852-3416 or (603) 271-2261, or by email at consumerservices@ins.nh.gov.

NH Insurance Department to Hold Public Hearing on Health Insurance Premiums

CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Insurance Department will host its annual public hearing on health insurance premiums and medical care cost drivers from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Friday, November 3, 2017, at the University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord.

According to state law, the Insurance Commissioner “shall hold an annual public hearing concerning premium rates in the health insurance market and the factors, including health care costs and cost trends, that have contributed to rate increases during the prior year.” This year’s public hearing is based on data and information available in 2016.

“The New Hampshire Insurance Department’s annual hearing is an important tool to increase transparency and foster dialogue on health care costs in New Hampshire,” said New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny. “Each year, we convene health insurance companies, members of state government, and New Hampshire residents to examine what’s behind higher health care costs in the state and what can be done about it. I encourage anyone who is interested to attend, either in person or remotely.”

This year’s hearing will include a report on the 2016 data submitted by health insurance companies in New Hampshire. Two separate insurer panel discussions will focus on managing covered populations, benefit design, and provider payment reform. The hearing will include a public comment period.

The hearing is open to the public, although seating is limited. Live streaming of the event is planned.

Reserve a seat to attend the event in person.

Register for the livestream option.

For more information on the event, including the full agenda: https://www.nh.gov/insurance/media/events/annual-hearing.htm

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.

40% Increase In Premiums Highlight Need For A Better Healthcare System

Below is the press release from the NH Department of Insurance explain the massive spike in healthcare premiums, specifically on those who get insurance through the ACA marketplace.  Below that is my opinion on what we can do to fix this problem. 


Federal Government Announces 2018 Rate Increases

CONCORD, NH – NH Department Of Insurance Press Release  The federal government today published information on proposed rate increases for New Hampshire’s health insurance exchange in 2018, showing that consumers in the individual market may face increases of more than forty percent.

“Today’s news about rates is alarming, especially for the 94,000 New Hampshire residents who obtain their insurance through the individual market, but unfortunately, it does not come as a surprise,” said Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny. “A number of factors have led to rate increases for 2018 in New Hampshire and across the country, most notably the continued uncertainty at the federal level. My staff and I have been actively engaged to identify options to lessen the impact on the thousands of families who rely on health insurance through the state exchange.”

The 2018 rate information released today by the federal government details proposed increases to benefit plans that are submitted by insurance companies operating on the exchange.  (The New Hampshire Insurance Department is prohibited by law from releasing rate information until Nov. 1.)  A benefit plan is a specific plan that a New Hampshire resident would select for enrollment, such as a bronze, silver, or gold level metal plan.

Three companies have announced their intentions to offer plans on the 2018 exchange in New Hampshire: Ambetter, Anthem, and Harvard Pilgrim. A fourth, Minuteman Health, also has proposed rate increases listed on the federal site, but those plans will not be available to consumers, as the company announced in June that it would stop offering plans in 2018.

The information published today by the federal government shows that some of the state’s insurers have submitted benefit plans for the individual market with substantial increases. The New Hampshire Insurance Department looks at premiums each year from a market-wide perspective, comparing the median premium for a silver-level plan covering a 40-year-old non-tobacco-user.  For 2017, the median premium at this level was $335; the median premium at this level for 2018 would be $479, based on the carriers’ initially proposed rates.  If these rates are ultimately approved, this would represent a 43% increase between next year’s and this year’s median premium in the individual market.

Today, the Department issued guidance permitting insurers to assume the federal government will not be funding Cost Sharing Reductions (CSRs) in 2018.  In response, insurers might adjust silver level plan rates before the deadline for amending rate filings.

The New Hampshire Insurance Department has taken action in recent months to call policymakers’ and consumers’ attention to the impending rate increases and the possibility that companies might withdraw from the exchange in 2018. In June, the Legislature authorized the Department to create a market stabilization plan, and last month, the Department publicly shared its plan to reduce rates and promote stability in the individual market in 2018. Today, the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee authorized the Insurance Department to pursue federal waivers in support of a market stabilization plan, but without relying on an assessment of health insurance carriers.


A completely new healthcare system for all Americans

The above press release from the NH Department of Insurance shows that our current system of private insurance is unsustainable.  A 40% increase in one year. Seriously WTF?  What we do not even know yet is how much out of pocket costs will also increase next year.  Out of pocket expenses include co-pays, co-insurance deductibles, and prescription costs.  These can cost people thousands of dollars on top of their thousands of dollars in premiums.

There is no doubt that Republicans are going to blame Democrats and President Obama for this increase while Democrats will blame Republicans for failing pass meaningful changes to the ACA to stabilize the marketplace.

But while I blame both of them for failing to do what is best for America, the majority of the blame falls directly on the private insurance corporations.  They are raking in obscene profits, continually increasing premiums to maximize their profits.  Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield reported $1 Billion in profits during the first quarter of 2016. That is a 44% increase in profits.

The corporations are shelling out hundreds of millions to lobbyists and politicians to prevent them from passing meaningful legislation that would help solve our problems.  For example, Congress has failed to pass legislation allowing medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, which other countries do, saving them billions annually.  In 2016, the health products, insurance and pharmaceuticals industries spent a combined $400 million on their lobbying efforts.

Are you still surprised that Congress cannot pass meaningful healthcare reform?

This 40% increase combined with the insurance companies record breaking profits last year make it glaringly obvious that we need to move to a single payer system.  With a less than 2% overhead, Medicare is one of the most efficient programs in the government. With additional changes, like allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, the cost of healthcare would drop dramatically.

It is time for America to move to a national universal healthcare system. It is time for Medicare For All.

NH Senate Republicans Vote Down Proposal To Lower Insurance Premiums Statewide

The Reinsurance Program would allow the NH Department of Insurance to seek additional federal funds to stabilize the insurance marketplace.

Today, Governor Sununu and New Hampshire Republicans failed to fund the NH Insurance Department’s reinsurance proposal that would protect the benefits of tens of thousands of Granite Staters. The Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee moved forward with a proposal from the NH Insurance Department to create a reinsurance program, but failed to authorize any way to pay for it.

“Governor Sununu is shamefully choosing politics over people and New Hampshire will suffer as a result. President Trump’s unpopular decision to sabotage insurance markets in order to implement his even-less-popular plan appears to be spilling over to states with friendly governors like Chris Sununu,” said NHDP Chair Ray Buckley.

“Sununu’s blind cooperation with Trump ignores the fact that reinsurance plans have been successful in lowering premiums, keeping carriers in the market, and creating stability and certainty. By refusing to fund the proposal, the reinsurance program is set up for failure and shows Governor Sununu’s cooperation with Trump in undermining our healthcare system for political gain.”

After the vote, Sen. Martha Fuller Clark (D-Portsmouth), member of the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee, released the following statement:

“Given President Trump’s attempts to undermine our healthcare system and the failure of Republicans in Congress to act, states like New Hampshire need to be doing all we can do to stabilize our healthcare market, increase competition, and drive down costs for Granite Staters.”

“While the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee authorized the NH Insurance and HHS Commissioners to seek federal waivers to create a reinsurance program and to seek all federal funds available to help pay for the program, the Committee rejected, along party lines, the NH Insurance Commissioner’s proposal to help fund the program through an added assessment on our insurance carriers.”

“Without the certainty of funding and the refusal to add an assessment on our state carriers, there’s no way for insurance carriers to reduce premiums, despite the fact that insurance assessments in the past have been used to address failures in our healthcare marketplace. Governor Sununu and his Republican allies are playing dangerous political games with our healthcare system, risking insurance carriers leaving our state, risking higher premiums for our hard-working families, and creating more destabilization in NH’s healthcare system.”

“Healthcare is an issue that affects all Granite Staters and impacts us at all levels of state government. New Hampshire policymakers should not just throw up their hands and give up working on solutions to these problems just because they are hard. It’s disheartening that Governor Sununu and Republicans in the legislature are again defaulting to the dysfunction of Washington and standing alongside President Trump’s attempts to undermine our healthcare system rather than standing with the people of New Hampshire. Real leadership is needed to bring people together to find meaningful healthcare solutions, both here and in Washington. Unfortunately, today’s vote doesn’t solve any of our problems or find any meaningful solutions.”

In light of today’s votes the New Hampshire Insurance Department (NHID) is “cancelling the public hearings scheduled for August 2nd and August 3rd relative to its market stabilization plan and proposed 1332 waiver application.”

“Consistent with today’s vote of the Joint Health Reform Oversight Committee, the NHID will continue to explore options for the 1332 waiver, and will reschedule the hearings once there is more clarity about the specifics of the state’s approach,” wrote the NHID.

Alaska and Minnesota have successfully implemented and funded similar reinsurance programs that will net-lower premiums in their states.

In response to reports of significant projected increases in individual market health care premiums, and a party-line vote by the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee to block an Insurance Department proposal, Representative Ed Butler (D-Hart’s Location), a member of the Oversight Committee, released the following statement:

“President Trump has said repeatedly that he intends to ‘let Obamacare implode.’  In a belligerent act of sabotage, the President is threatening to withhold billions in cost sharing subsidies to insurance companies that are required under federal law.  The uncertainty that President Trump has created in the insurance market is a driving force in projected rate increases nationwide.”

“Instead of working with the Insurance Department to submit their full waiver request – including a 1% rate increase assessment on group markets – to achieve the greatest possible reduction in rates in the individual market, New Hampshire Republicans on this Oversight Committee have chosen the path of least resistance.”

“Republicans on the Oversight Committee voted on August 1st to prevent New Hampshire’s Insurance Department from submitting their full waiver request.  Instead the Committee authorized the Insurance and Health and Human Services Departments to request financial assistance from the federal government – without any seed money or contribution from NH insurance carriers.”

“Over 35,000 Granite Staters will be subject to spikes in rates of as much as 30 to 40% in the individual market.  By opposing commonsense efforts to bring stability to the market, Governor Sununu and Committee Republicans appear willing to use our citizens as scapegoats to achieve President Trump’s desired ‘implosion’ of our health care system.”

For more information on the waivers read the detailed reporting from Manchester Ink Link

NH Insurance Department to Host Public Information Sessions on Health Care Networks

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Insurance Department will host two information sessions in June on the health care provider networks likely to be available through New Hampshire’s health insurance exchange in 2018.

The first session will take place Monday, June 26, from 10-11 a.m. in Concord, at the Brown Auditorium, 129 Pleasant St. The second will be held online on Wednesday, June 28, from 11 a.m. to noon. Both sessions will be free and open to the public.

Members of the New Hampshire Insurance Department will share information about the networks proposed by the insurance companies that have applied to offer plans on the federally facilitated New Hampshire Marketplace in 2018. (Companies are currently in the midst of applying to offer plans for 2018: The Insurance Department’s deadline for initial applications is May 12.)

“Our goal with these information sessions is to help consumers, and those who work with consumers, get a detailed sense of what the health care provider networks will look like for each plan offered on the Marketplace next year,” said New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny. “Transparency allows New Hampshire residents to make informed choices about their health insurance.”

To reserve a seat for the in-person information session held June 26 at the Brown Auditorium: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=ygzv4fxab&oeidk=a07ee4jr3188c95a5cd

To register for the June 28 online session: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6008468589355174146

If you have questions, please email Danielle.Barrick@ins.nh.gov. For directions to the Brown Auditorium: https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/directions/brown.htm


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 www.nh.gov/insurance.

Information for NH Residents on 2017 Health Insurance Marketplace and Open Enrollment

CONCORD, NH — Open enrollment through the state’s federally facilitated Health Insurance Marketplace (www.Healthcare.gov) will run from November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017. In advance of open enrollment on and off the Marketplace, the New Hampshire Insurance Department offers information and resources to state residents who plan to purchase health insurance in the individual market for 2017 coverage.

“New Hampshire residents have options for 2017: four health insurance companies to choose from, many plans and health care provider networks, and a range of price points,” said New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny. “Even if people already have a plan, they should go to HealthCare.gov and shop around – they may find a plan that’s more affordable or that has a health care provider network that they like better.”

Federal Assistance Based on Income Levels:

You can buy a plan outside of the federal Marketplace – through an insurance agent or directly from an insurance company – and it will cover the same essential services as a Marketplace plan.  However, if you want to receive federal financial assistance to pay for the plan, you will need to enroll through the Marketplace. Depending on your income level, you may qualify for cost assistance for paying premiums and/or out-of-pocket costs for a health insurance plan bought through the Marketplace, or for no-cost or low-cost coverage under the New Hampshire Health Protection Program.  

When you complete an application on www.Healthcare.gov, you will be prompted to enter your tax household size and financial information. After completing the application, you will be notified if you qualify for financial assistance for a Marketplace plan or for coverage through the New Hampshire Health Protection Program.

If you are enrolled in Marketplace coverage for 2016, you will receive renewal information from your insurance company and the Marketplace itself. 

If you are already enrolled in the New Hampshire Health Protection Program, you will receive information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services about how to pick a plan for 2017.

Health insurance plans:

In 2017, four insurance companies will offer individual plans on the New Hampshire Marketplace: Anthem, Ambetter from NH Healthy Families, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and Minuteman Health.

Community Health Options will not be offering coverage in New Hampshire in 2017. Current Community Health Options members are encouraged to shop and select a new plan for 2017. Those who do not select a new plan will be automatically assigned to one by the Marketplace.

For your coverage to begin on January 1, 2017, you will need to enroll by December 15, 2016 (NH residents who have CHO coverage will have until December 31, 2016 to select a new plan). You will need to pay your premium for your 2017 coverage to take effect. 

New Hampshire Health Protection Program members with Community Health Options coverage will receive information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services about moving to a new plan. New Hampshire small businesses can also purchase group plans through the Marketplace under the SHOP program (go to HealthCare.gov).

What to Consider:

There are five categories, or “metal levels,” of coverage in the individual and small group market, including plans sold on the Marketplace. Plans in each category will pay for different portions of an average person’s care, with the rest being paid by the covered person as out-of-pocket expenses:

  • Bronze: Your plan pays 60% of your health costs, on average. You pay 40%.
  • Silver: Your plan pays 70% of your health costs, on average. You pay about 30%.
    • If you buy through the Marketplace and qualify for cost-sharing assistance, you will pay less than 30%, but only if you choose a Silver plan. Your cost-sharing could be as low as 6%, depending on your income.
  • Gold: Your plan pays 80% of your health costs, on average. You pay about 20%.
  • Platinum: Your plan pays 90% of your health costs, on average. You pay about 10%.
  • Catastrophic: Your plan pays less than 60% of the total cost of care on average. These plans are only available to people who are under 30 years old or who have a hardship exemption.

The actual percentage you pay, in total or per service, will depend on the plan design (different plans feature different deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximums) and the services you use throughout the year. When choosing a plan category, think about your health care needs as well as your budget. Bronze and Silver plans have lower monthly premiums, but they also pay less of your costs when you need care.  Gold and platinum plans have lower cost-sharing – meaning the plan pays more and you pay less—but have higher monthly premiums. 

Consider whether your doctors are included in the insurance plan’s network of providers. You can check the insurance company’s provider directory to see if they are included. If you are taking prescription drugs, check the insurance company’s drug formulary to see if they will be covered.

More information on 2017 plans:

New Hampshire HealthCost – a free tool developed by the NH Insurance Department:

The website www.NHHealthCost.org gives cost estimates for health procedures at medical facilities in the state. The estimates are based on actual, anonymous, paid claims data collected from the state’s health insurers. The website allows people to see the total costs of different procedures, including physician fees, lab fees, and facility fees, based on their insurance type, deductible, and coinsurance.

The site’s goal is to give people knowledge about the real cost of their care so they can make informed choices about how and where to spend their health care dollars. The website also includes hospital quality data and a guide to help consumers understand how to use their health insurance.

The New Hampshire Insurance Department Can Help:

“I want the people of this state to know that the Insurance Department is here as a resource: Our Consumer Services staff is available to assist with issues that arise after people are enrolled in coverage,” said Commissioner Sevigny.

Contact the Insurance Department with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your insurance coverage at 1-800-852-3416 or (603) 271-2261, or by email at consumerservices@ins.nh.gov.

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 www.nh.gov/insurance.

Insurance Department Announces Redesign, Major Updates to NHHealthCost.org Website

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 1.48.08 PMCONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Insurance Department announces major consumer-oriented updates to its nationally recognized health transparency website, NHHealthCost.org.

NH HealthCost, which was created by the Insurance Department in 2007, uses actual paid claims data, collected from the state’s health insurers, to show prices for health care procedures at facilities across the state. The website allows people to see the total costs of their procedures, including physician fees, lab fees, and facility fees, based on their insurance type, deductible, and coinsurance (or the amount they would pay if they were uninsured). The site’s goal is to give people knowledge about the real cost of their care so they can make informed choices about how and where to spend their health care dollars.   

“These updates to our renowned HealthCost website give New Hampshire residents even greater transparency on health care costs in the state,” said New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny. “People in the Granite State do their research before any important purchase, such as buying a car. They ought to have that same right when it comes to their health care expenses. Through our redesigned NH HealthCost website, people can now find the best prices statewide on 67 medical procedures and 16 dental procedures, as well as information on 65 prescription medications.”

Updates to the NH HealthCost website include: 

Procedures:

The site features 31 new medical procedure costs

  • 16 dental cost estimates
  • Pharmacy retail charges for 35 brand name drugs and 30 generic drugs.
  • Searchable lab tests as well as an averages report
  • Physical therapy
  • Behavioral health
  • Chiropractic care
  • Sleep studies

Quality of care: This new section offers a convenient way to see nationally available quality data on local health care facilities, such as infection rates, patient experience, and readmissions. The goal is to level out price disparities between providers and to increase the quality of care that patients can expect to receive.

A Guide to Health Insurance: The guide features frequently asked questions about getting health insurance, navigating the insurance system, and how to manage costs. The guide is interactive: Users can submit their own questions and give feedback on the information presented.

New Hampshire is considered a national leader in health care transparency. In 2015, it was the only state in the country to earn an A in a national report card on access to health care prices, issued by two nonprofit organizations that focus on health care reform. The report card cited NH HealthCost.org as “a prime example of a price transparency website built with consumers in mind.” 

“We commend New Hampshire for the effort it has put into the site and urge other states to use NH HealthCost as a model when developing price information for their residents,” said the report, developed by the organizations Catalyst for Payment Reform and Health Care Incentives Institute. (More information: http://www.nh.gov/insurance/media/pr/2015/documents/070915.pdf)

The New Hampshire Insurance Department developed NH HealthCost with the help of the University of New Hampshire, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and many other interested parties in the public and private sectors. 

The website: www.NHHealthCost.org

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 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.

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