Legislation concerning state’s health insurance exchange may no longer be needed
New Hampshire lawmakers are considering the viability of a legislation that would allow the state to build and operate its own health insurance exchange. The state is required to have an exchange per health care reform law passed in 2010. The state has, however, opted to allow the federal government to build and manage this exchange. This means that New Hampshire has limited impact on the way that the exchange operates and how it affects the state’s insurance market. The sponsor of the legislation has now suggested that it is no longer necessary.
Bill seeks to address some issues concerning health care reform
The New Hampshire Senate Health, Education, and Human Services Committee has held a public hearing concerning the legislation, which is sponsored by Senator Peggy Gilmour. The legislation is meant to repeal previous legislative measures that have prohibited the state from building its own insurance exchange. This legislation would also require insurance providers to establish more expansive provider networks for individual insurance plans. Currently, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield accounts for the majority of the policies sold through the state’s federally-managed exchange. The insurer has excluded 10 of the state’s 26 major hospitals from its network.
Insurers expected to begin participating in state exchange in 2015
Several of the state’s other insurance providers are expected to begin participating in the insurance exchange in 2015. This is expected to increase competition in the insurance market and expand the number of hospitals that are included in coverage networks offered by insurers. As such, Senator Gilmour suggests that her legislation is no longer needed. According to the Senator, the state has been proactive in addressing the insurance challenges that its residents face and lawmakers may find more success in finding other avenues to make insurance coverage both affordable and more accessible.
New bills aim to address other insurance-related issues
There are other bills calling for the attention of New Hampshire’s lawmakers. One such legislation is meant to require the state’s insurance companies selling policies through the state’s exchange to negotiate more effectively with the state’s health care providers in order to establish more accommodating coverage networks. Another bill seeks to allow the state’s Department of Insurance to hold public hearings concerning the plans that would be introduced to the New Hampshire health insurance exchange.