State’s high risk insurance pool to close June 30
CONCORD — Citing improvements in consumers’ ability to access the state’s health care exchange, Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny on Wednesday announced that he has ordered the New Hampshire high risk pool to cease providing coverage on June 30.
The state high risk pool, which serves residents who have been denied coverage due to their health status, is operated by the New Hampshire Health Plan, a nonprofit entity created under state law.
Health insurance companies are now required by the Affordable Care Act to issue policies without regard to health status, thus eliminating the need for the high risk pool, which had been scheduled to close on Dec. 31.
Because of technical difficulties last fall with the healthcare.gov website, some people insured through the high risk pool were concerned they would not be able to access coverage in 2014. In November, Sevigny ordered the high risk pool to remain open into 2014.
Those difficulties have been addressed and residents now are able to adequately access plans through the state’s health insurance marketplace, Sevigny said.
“With over 20,000 New Hampshire residents now enrolled in Marketplace coverage, the technical issues afflicting the healthcare.gov website appear to have been largely resolved, giving high risk pool members the ability to transition to new coverage,” he said. “It is now appropriate for the high risk pool to wind down, as contemplated by the New Hampshire Legislature.”
The New Hampshire Health Plan will ease the transition by providing assistance and information. The New Hampshire Insurance Department’s consumer services staff also will be available to assist people who have problems getting coverage.