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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.

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