NH gets its first glimpse of the Health Insurance Exchange Plan, and it isn’t good.

Josh Elliott-Traficante

September 5, 2013

As reported by various media outlets earlier this week, the Health Care Oversight Committee held a hearing with representatives of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. Anthem, who will be the only health insurance provider offering plans on the New Hampshire Exchange, confirmed that future exchange customers would only have access to only about half of the hospitals in the state.

Looking at a map of the hospitals in and out of network, (green dot: in network, red: out of network) there are some areas that are disproportionately affected, such as the Concord area, Connecticut River Valley, the Monadnock Region, and particularly the North Country.

Any resident north of the Notches has only the option of Weeks Medical Center in Lancaster, or driving to either Memorial Hospital in North Conway or Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth to seek care.

Limiting access will not only affect hospitals, but primary care physicians as well. Throughout the state, many hospitals have acquired primary care practices in their respective areas, building a comprehensive health system. These systems often include primary care practices, urgent care clinics, and laboratories, all under the aegis of a single hospital. While this model can promote efficiency, once a hospital is no longer considered in network, the same is true for the rest of the health system, including those primary care physicians.

This causes two major problems for consumers: those who end up in the exchanges will be forced to change their doctor and will have to travel further to get to their new one. {So much for the idea of keeping your own doctor.} This will be particularly problematic in the Concord Area, as Concord Hospital owns or is affiliated with most of the practices in the area. While it is in theory possible for insurance companies to make access contracts at the practice level, regardless of what health system they may belong to, it remains to be seen if that will be done.

Anthem will remain the only company offering health insurance policies on New Hampshire’s Exchange at least until 2015.

In Network:                                                                                          Out of Network

Androscoggin Valley Hospital: Berlin                             Alice Peck Day Hospital: Lebanon

Catholic Medical Center: Manchester                                            Cottage Hospital: Woodsville

Cheshire Medical Center: Keene                                                      Concord Hospital: Concord

Elliot Hospital: Manchseter                                                               Frisbie Memorial Hospital: Rochester

Exeter Hospital: Exeter                                                                        Monadnock Community Hospital: Peterborough

Franklin Regional Hospital: Franklin                                            Parkland Medical Center: Derry

Huggins Hospital: Wolfeboro                                                            Portsmouth Regional Hospital: Portsmouth

Lakes Region General Hospital: Laconia                                      Upper Connecticut River Valley Hospital: Colebrook

Littleton Regional Hospital: Littleton                              Valley Regional Hospital: Claremont

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center: Lebanon

Memorial Hospital: North Conway

New London Hosptial: New London

Speare Memorial Hospital: Plymouth

St. Joesph Hosptial: Nashua

Weeks Medical Center: Lancaster

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital: Dover


Update 9/6: Late Thursday, Anthem announced that both both Androscoggin Hospital in Berlin and Littleton Hospital will be added to the network.

Red Dot: Out of Network Hospital, Green Dot: In Network.

Map Source: Google Maps


1 reply
  1. Jackie says:

    It is better than what we have now. My husband has Medicare and medi comp. I am in a Private early retiree plan that basically takes my money for nothing.I have high premiums, high deductibles and then I have to pay 40% coinsurance. This is a problem with letting them dictate and can be fixed. More providers will be in the state and that will create competition. I worked in health care before the insurance companies took over and it was a better system. I need affordable real insurance. My plan does not cover preventive care. I found that out when I had a mammogram and they would not pay until I proved I had a prior history of issues. They need to be regulated as Greed is what drives them. I have said their motto is Delay , Deny and hope you die, before they have to pay. I spent the majority of my time trying to get insurance companies to pay for things they should. In the end they would usually pay , but they delayed , Denied and were disappointed the patient did not die. As long as Politicians take money from them there will be no real reform.

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