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N.H. Set To Launch Second Open Enrollment For ACA Plans

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Open enrollment begins Saturday for those looking to sign up for health care plans on the state’s marketplace through the Affordable Care Act.

This will be the second chance for Granite Staters to enroll, after more than 40,000 residents signed up for plans during the first enrollment period.

In preparation for this weekend’s rollout, roughly 80 navigators and marketplace assistors gathered in Concord Thursday to learn about changes to the state’s marketplace.

The biggest difference this time? More choice.

“There’s five health insurance companies that are offering plans through the marketplace. There’s more than 40 plans to choose from," said Karen Hicks, coordinator for Covering New Hampshire.

She says having more options is better for the consumer, but will make shopping for the right plan a bit more complicated.

“So what you’re looking at is – does the plan have my doctor in its network, if you have a relationship with an existing provider? And the co-pays and deductibles are different. So people really need to dig into that level of details to find a plan that works for them."

Governor Maggie Hassan says the state is holding off on setting any projections for how many will sign up this time.

“We’re going to develop projections as we see what kind of participation happens in the next few weeks," she said. "But what’s most important is for people to know that they can get information about how to enroll and they can see a lot of the difference choices they have.”

Hicks says based on what the state saw last time, the biggest rush of signups is likely to come leading up the end of the enrollment period on February 15.

Michael serves as NHPR's Program Director. Michael came to NHPR in 2012, working as the station's newscast producer/reporter. In 2015, he took on the role of Morning Edition producer. Michael worked for eight years at The Telegraph of Nashua, covering education and working as the metro editor.
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