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Senate Approves Bill To Hold Public Hearings On ACA Insurance Plans

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

Health insurance products sold in New Hampshire’s exchange would face public hearings under a bill passed by the Senate.

Supporters say the hearings will provide transparency about what exactly the plans cover, and which doctors and hospitals are participating. The move comes in direct response to Anthem’s so-called narrow network exchange plans that leave out 10 of the state’s 26 hospitals.

“My constituents and our community hospital were left in the dark last year,” writes Senator Sam Cataldo (R-Farmington) in a statement. “This legislation seeks to prevent these kinds of network blackouts in the future by offering ample opportunity for public comment in order to ensure our insurance regulators understand full-well the implications of these decisions on our citizen’s health care.”

The bill calls for two public hearings in different regions of the state, and for information to be available on the Insurance Department’s website. Regulators will accept public comments before signing off on any products.

Two additional insurance companies have expressed interest in joining the exchange in 2015, potentially giving consumers more choice about network size and rates. 

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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