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Maine Insurance Co-op Plans Big Expansion in N.H.

Maine Community Health Options

A health insurance cooperative based in Maine has received $67 million federal loan to expand into New Hampshire’s healthcare exchange.

When the federal healthcare marketplace opened in 2013, Maine Community Health Options made waves when it grabbed a whopping 83 percent market share in Maine. The small cooperative outcompeted Anthem - the only other insurer on Maine’s marketplace at the time, and currently the only insurer on New Hampshire’s healthcare exchange.

CEO Kevin Lewis says his company was planning a limited expansion into New Hampshire in 2015. But the federal loan will allow them to compete in every county in the state.

"We’re working on the same sort of access and choice of providers in New Hampshire as we’ve been able to do in Maine," says Lewis.

While the new insurer has experience competing against Anthem, the competition in New Hampshire will be stiffer. Five insurers are expected to roll out plans here in 2015.

Before joining NHPR in August 2014, Jack was a freelance writer and radio reporter. His work aired on NPR, BBC, Marketplace and 99% Invisible, and he wrote for the Christian Science Monitor and Northern Woodlands.
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