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December 30. 2013 8:51PM

CoveringNewHampshire.org targets those seeking coverage

CONCORD — New Hampshire residents can now take advantage of a new website designed to simplify the process of obtaining coverage through the new Health Insurance Marketplace set up as part of the Affordable Care Act.

The website, CoveringNewHampshire.org, was launched on Dec. 24 to help individual consumers and small employers learn more about their health coverage options at healthcare.gov.

The new site offers New Hampshire-specific information about the 11 Anthem health plans Granite Staters can choose from, financial assistance they may qualify for and where to find in-person assistance in their area.

According to Mike Degnan, Executive Director for the New Hampshire Health Plan, which funded the site, "CoveringNewHampshire.org allows you to compare plans and to learn about available financial assistance so Granite Staters can find a plan that fits their needs and their budget."

Individuals with incomes between 100 to 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($11,500 to $46,000 for an individual or between $22,550 and $94,200 for a family of four) may qualify for tax credits to lower the cost of the insurance and may also be eligible for cost sharing subsidies to reduce what they pay out-of-pocket for care.

"We're adding dental, and that should be up this week," said Karen Hicks, project manager for Covering New Hampshire, regarding Delta Dental and Anthem dental plans that are available on the marketplace.

The website is part of a $5 million, multi-media outreach campaign, according to Hicks. "We will also have television adds, radio ads, digital ads. We'll be doing local events and a lot of direct mail," she said. "This website is one piece of the puzzle to help inform New Hampshire residents."

The New Hampshire Health Plan, manager of the state's high-risk insurance pool, applied for and received the $5 million in federal funds to promote Obamacare signups after the state Senate balked at the idea.

"This $5 million was not accepted by the Legislature, so New Hampshire Health Plan applied directly," Hicks said.

Louis Karno & Company Communications in Concord was selected to implement the program, in cooperation with the N.H. Insurance Department. "We've been working with them to be sure all of the information is up to date and accurate," Hicks said. "We already had a couple hundred people sign up to get more information through the website just after it launched before Christmas."

The new website helps consumers prepare to apply for coverage at healthcare.gov by phone, via mail or in person. Open enrollment for coverage in 2014 continues through March 31.

Consumers can also use the Covering New Hampshire website to schedule an appointment for assistance in person or over the telephone. For more information, call 800-318-2596.

dsolomon@newstote.com


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