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Federal Grant To Market Health Law Again Delayed

A flawed bid process is further delaying efforts to market the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire, as the group in charge of awarding a $2 million contract has decided to reopen its application process.

The New Hampshire Health Plan committee voted 3-2 to award the contract to an unnamed vendor on October 9, but the group, for reasons left unstated in meeting minutes, then decided not to finalize that recommendation.

New Hampshire Health Plan Executive Director Michael Degnan wouldn’t go into detail, but says the committee was divided.

“There wasn’t unanimity on the board," says Degnan. "We had some difference of opinion. We said, ‘Well, let’s do it again and let's understand our vetting process again.'"

Degnan added the group, which is made up of insurance and hospital executives, as well as public health advocates, may not have followed federal guidelines in judging the two finalists.

This is just the latest hiccup in awarding the money. GOP lawmakers earlier this year blocked the state Insurance Department from accepting the grant. Department officials then redirected it to the New Hampshire Health Plan.

The new applications for the marketing contract are due Friday.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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