CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s insurance and health departments are recommending that the state partner with the federal government to operate the new insurance markets required under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
Department officials will explain the details Monday to a legislative committee that must approve any major changes the agency makes in implementing that law, insurance department attorney Jennifer Patterson told The Associated Press. The recommendation from Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny and Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas already has been made to Gov. Maggie Hassan, Patterson said. Hassan has until Feb. 15 to notify the federal government of the state’s decision.
A major component of PPACA requires the creation of exchanges, which are marketplaces that will offer individuals and their families a choice of private health plans resembling what workers at major companies already get. States can establish and operate their own exchanges, create regional exchanges with other states, run an exchange in partnership with the federal government or let the federal government operate the exchange for the state.
The first option is off the table because New Hampshire lawmakers passed a law last session prohibiting the state from establishing its own exchange. The state is still deciding whether to pursue a partnership.