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August 02. 2014 9:54PM

Manchester widow's health insurance issue resolved

A Manchester widow who spent two months trying in vain to get her late husband's name removed from the health insurance plan they bought on the federal exchange says the situation has been resolved at last.

Debra Jacobsen told her story to the New Hampshire Sunday News, which reported on her difficulties on July 20. After that story appeared, she said, the phone calls began.

A constituent services staffer in Rep. Carol Shea-Porter's office got involved, and within days she heard from Anthem, her insurer and from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which oversees the federal Health Insurance Marketplace for New Hampshire.

Since then, Jacobsen said, the marketplace has issued her a new, single insurance policy with monthly premiums of just over $100. She got credit for the deductibles and co-pays she had paid out under her previous plan, and Anthem reimbursed her for the higher premiums she had paid for a joint policy since her husband's death.

Jacobsen said she's grateful for the help she's received and to all the friends and strangers who reached out with support.

She said she hopes what happened to her will help smooth the way for others who find themselves in similar circumstances.

Even now, Jacobsen said, "I have to pinch myself to realize that it's really over, because it was just such a long, frustrating ordeal."

"Now that this is over, I can sit down," she said. "I can finally grieve."


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