The same four insurers offering individual health plans on the federal health exchange this year indicated they will offer coverage again in 2018.
The New Hampshire Insurance Department on Tuesday said it received “initial form filings” from four insurance companies that intend to offer medical plans under the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.
The four companies are Anthem, Harvard Pilgrim, Minuteman Health and Ambetter from NH Healthy Families.
Rates for 2018 coverage can’t be released by the state insurance department until Nov. 1. More than 90,000 New Hampshire residents use the health exchange for coverage. Insurers aren’t locked into offering coverage next year.
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“Just a reminder, rate filings aren’t due until June 2,” said Danielle Barrick, director of communications for the New Hampshire Insurance Department. “Once a company has filed, it will have another month to make changes to those rates. An insurance company might change its proposed rates, and it is possible that an insurance company could withdraw its application.”
Some insurers have pulled out of exchanges in some states because they were losing money. Congress also is debating whether to repeal and replace Obamacare with another health care law.
“We are still in the process of evaluating what Congress is working on,” Barrick said.
The insurance department posted a request for proposals to develop models “on the probable impact of a number of possible developments or actions that would affect its health insurance markets, especially focusing on New Hampshire’s individual health insurance market,” Barrick said.
Minuteman, which has about 27,000 New Hampshire residents under the exchange, “will take what (or if anything) happens in D.C. as it comes,” Minuteman spokesman Jim Borghesani said in an email.
“Minuteman has always been committed to offering exchange plans in NH in 2018, so nothing was predicated on what was happening in D.C.,” he said. Three companies have applied to offer small-group plans to groups of 50 employees or fewer through the marketplace’s small business health options program: Anthem, Harvard Pilgrim and Minuteman Heath.
Two companies, Anthem and Delta Dental, applied to offer dental insurance, both as individual plans and through SHOP.
The insurance department reviews forms and rates and recommends them for final approval by the federal government, which operates the marketplace.
May 12 marked the deadline for companies to submit initial form filings. June 2 is the deadline to submit initial rate filings. The insurance department by Sept. 27 will make final recommendations to the federal government, which will formally sign off on plans by Oct. 12.
Open enrollment will happen between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15. Employers can buy SHOP plans throughout the year.
The insurance department will host two information sessions in June on the health care provider networks likely to be available through the exchange for 2018. The first session will run from 10 to 11 a.m. June 26, in Concord at the Brown Auditorium, 129 Pleasant St. The second will take place online from 11 a.m. to noon on June 28.
Date:May 16, 2017