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Obamacare in NH: Luring people onto subsidies

A new study commissioned by the state Department of Insurance shows that under Obamacare the number of Granite Staters on private insurance is shrinking while the number on government-subsidized insurance is rising.

The study, by Wakely Consulting Group, shows a 75 percent increase in coverage purchased on the state’s individual insurance market since Jan. 1, when the Obamacare individual mandate took effect. Such is the lure of government subsidies and mandates.

Of the 34,600 people who obtained insurance through New Hampshire’s Obamacare exchange and paid for their coverage by May, 79 percent receive a subsidy. That’s 27,334 people. An additional 9,431 enrolled in Medicaid from January to May. In sum, by the end of April, 36,765 Granite Staters have enrolled in government-subsidized health insurance coverage.

Many of them had private insurance, but dropped it in the first four months of this year. The study shows that 11,700 people dropped their employer-provided coverage and another 1,671 dropped their self-insurance coverage. It is not clear how many of the people who dropped their private coverage — or how many of the previously uninsured — signed up for subsidized coverage through the exchange and how many went onto Medicaid.

The bottom line is that Obamacare in New Hampshire is working exactly as its critics predicted: People are dropping private coverage in favor of subsidized coverage, and many of the newly insured are getting government-subsidized insurance. Where is the money to pay for all of this?

Eric Church
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