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Amid Insurance Website Problems, State Looks To Keep High Risk Pool Alive

The New Hampshire Insurance Department wants to keep open a program that provides health coverage for 2,750 residents with pre-existing conditions. The $45-million high risk pool operated by the New Hampshire Health Plan was set to close at year’s end.

Since health insurance companies can no longer deny people because of pre-existing conditions under the Affordable Care Act, state-run high risk pools around the country are winding down.

But with ongoing technical problems on the ‘Healthcare.gov’ website, the New Hampshire Insurance Department is now looking to extend the program.

Deputy Commissioner Alex Feldvebel says the move comes in response to complaints from consumers.

“The primary motivation of the Department of extending the life of the high risk pool is to make sure no one gets stuck without coverage,” says Feldvebel.

The Department needs legislative approval for the move, which could come as early as Friday.

New Hampshire is following the lead of other states, including Indiana and Maryland, that are also delaying the closure of their high risk pools.  

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. He can be reached at tbookman@nhpr.org.
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