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Anthem, Harvard Pilgrim to offer plans on Obamacare exchange in 2018

By MICHAEL COUSINEAU
New Hampshire Union Leader

August 16. 2017 11:53AM
The federal government forms for applying for health coverage are seen at a rally held by supporters of the Affordable Care Act, widely referred to as “Obamacare”, outside the Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center in Jackson, Miss., U.S. on Oct. 4, 2013. (REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman/File Photo)

Anthem and Harvard Pilgrim have confirmed they will offer plans on the Obamacare health exchange in New Hampshire for 2018, along with Ambetter, state officials announced Wednesday.

But Minuteman Health, which announced in June it was pulling out of the New Hampshire market in 2018, said its senior management wasn’t able to meet Wednesday’s deadline to secure licensing approval for a new health insurance company, Minuteman Insurance Company, to offer policies on the exchange.

That means about 27,000 New Hampshire exchange customers of Minuteman Health will need to find a new insurer for 2018, according to the state Insurance Department.

The Insurance Department said both Anthem and Harvard Pilgrim initially announced in May their intentions to offer plans on the exchange in 2018, but both this summer publicly said their participation in 2018 was uncertain, citing among other things the instability over health care at the federal level.

“Today’s announcements by Anthem and Harvard Pilgrim mean that New Hampshire residents will now be able to count on having three companies to choose from in 2018,” New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny said Wednesday.

“Thanks in part to the uncertainty coming from Washington, D.C., individual markets around the country are facing unprecedented instability,” Sevigny said in a statement. “To have three insurance companies recommit to staying in New Hampshire in 2018 is incredibly encouraging.”

More than 90,000 New Hampshire residents get their health insurance through the exchange. As many as 25,000 of them receive no government subsidy and must absorb any rate increases. Anthem covers about 27,000 Granite Staters through HealthCare.gov and through the state’s Medicaid expansion program. Harvard Pilgrim covers more than 11,000 New Hampshire residents through those programs.

Last week, Ambetter confirmed its intention to remain in the exchange in New Hampshire for 2018. Ambetter has 17,766 New Hampshire customers in the exchange, all but 112 with premiums paid by Medicaid.

Companies can still back out until Sept. 27, the deadline for signing a contract with the federal government to offer plans on the exchange next year.

The Union Leader reported earlier this month that Anthem and Harvard Pilgrim were both projecting rate increases of more than 40 percent for exchange customers in 2018.

Sevigny said the Minuteman Health leadership couldn’t secure financing to form the new company.

mcousineau@unionleader.com


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