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Insurance, HHS commissioners to join meeting on Obamacare

Sen. Lou D'Allesandro, D-Manchester, is hosting a meeting Wednesday in Manchester Aldermanic Chambers for people to learn about the Affordable Care Act and what they face when some of the significant provisions of the law go into effect Jan. 1.

State Insurance Commissioner Roger Sivigny will talk about what people can expect with the new electronic exchange, where those without health insurance can compare insurance plans to meet the coverage mandate that goes into effect Jan. 1.

Only one company is offering plans for next year on what is called the NH Marketplace — Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield — but Harvard Pilgrim is expected to also join the exchange in 2015 or 2016.

Health and Human Services Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas will discuss the other ACA hot topic, expanding Medicaid eligibility to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

The federal government pays 100 percent of the costs for the new enrollees for the first three years, but New Hampshire has yet to agree to expand the state-federal health insurance program for the poor, elderly and disabled.

A commission is studying expansion and has an Oct. 15 deadline to make its recommendations.

The Democratically controlled House and Gov. Maggie Hassan support expanding Medicaid, but the Republican-controlled Senate balked and said more study is needed.

The information session begins at 7 p.m.

D'Allesandro said the presentations by the two commissioners will take about an hour, then the floor will be opened for questions.

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