New Hampshire lawmakers remain divided on health insurance overhaul
Health insurance plans in New Hampshire have been meeting some legislative problems recently. The state is tasked with complying with the Affordable Care Act, which has been somewhat of a difficult challenge due to the clashes that the federal law has with the state’s laws. This week, House and Senate negotiators have drafted a new bill that aims to replace an original legislation concerning the state’s role in the health insurance market.
New bill seeks to attribute more regulatory authority to the state
The new bill, which is encompassed in three paragraphs opposed to the 15-page original bill, seeks to ensure that the state has a role to play in health insurance regulation. Both bills were created after lawmakers introduced a new legislation that prohibited the state from forming its own health insurance market and exchange program. New Hampshire’s Insurance Commissioner, Roger Sevigny, has warned lawmakers that such measures would mean that the state’s health insurance market would be entirely regulated by the federal government. This could cause problems for consumers as the federal government will not impose regulations based on the state’s market but rather than of the entirety of the country.
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Governor works to partner with federal government
Though state law prohibits New Hampshire from forming its own markets, Governor Maggie Hassan has been working to partner with the federal government in order for to form a new kind of health insurance exchange. This exchange would be managed by both the state and the federal government and would allow the state to hold some regulatory authority over the market. Supporters of this initiative suggest that it would allow state officials to ensure that the policies sold through the exchange meet the needs of New Hampshire residents.
State exchange to begin open enrollment in October 2013
Though New Hampshire is eager to hold more regulatory authority, state officials are keen to align themselves with the federal Affordable Care Act. Whether Governor Hassan succeeds in her endeavors to partner with the federal government or not, a health insurance exchange will take form in the state. This exchange is expected to begin open enrollment on October 1 of this year before active coverage begins on January 1, 2014.