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Lawmakers Mull Federal Health Insurance Exchange Options

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New Hampshire’s insurance department told House and Senate lawmakers Wednesday what a federal Insurance Exchange will look like in New Hampshire.

When the legislature voted to prohibit establishing a state-based health insurance exchange they thought that was it; decision made. Turns out, there are two kinds of federal exchange: a partnership, or federal plan management.

Deputy Insurance Commissioner Alex Feldvebel says, a partnership is the better solution, because letting the feds take over whole sale will cause…

Feldvebel: inconsistent standards.

The proposed federal exchange would do a lot of things that New Hampshire’s insurance department already does, like approving rates and forms.

Feldvebel: We’re saying that in order for the insurance department to maintain its jurisdiction cleanly, it needs to enter into this partnership.

The idea of a partnership might be a tough sell with House Republicans. For example, committee Republican Andrew Manuse, calls the distinction “bureaucratic play” and says he wants the state to have no part in the Affordable Care Act.

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. He shifted gears in 2016 and began producing Outside/In, a podcast and radio show about “the natural world and how we use it.” His work has won him several awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, one national Murrow, and the Overseas Press Club of America's award for best environmental reporting in any medium. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.

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