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Insured may not have to travel as far next year under Senate bill
The bill’s prime sponsor, Sen. David Pierce, D-Hanover, said future plans on the exchange may include an out-of-network benefit that would allow the residents of Claremont to go to Valley Regional Hospital and see their doctors instead of travelling to Lebanon, New London or Keene, as they now have to do if they brought insurance through the exchange from the only carrier, Anthem.
Anthem’s Pathway network, which covers those purchasing health insurance on the exchange, did not include nine of the state’s 26 hospitals including Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont and Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester, which threatened to sue over its exclusion.
The Insurance Department’s Jennifer Patterson said the narrow network was a very real issue with only one carrier on the exchange.
Anthem is about to finalize its plans for the exchange in 2015, noting the deadline for submission to the Insurance Department is May 1. To construct another product to sell alongside what the company plans to offer will take time, she said.
Steve Ahnen, President of the NH Hospital Association, told the Senate Health, Education and Human Services Committee the patient is the important thing, noting many low-income patients have a difficult time traveling to receive health care.
Other bills before the House and Senate address the same issue.
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