CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Insurance Department encourages consumers who need to select a health insurance plan during the open enrollment period to seek the help of an insurance agent or broker or a Federal Navigator, if needed. Residents can receive assistance from these types of in-person assisters at no additional cost during the open enrollment period. Open enrollment began November 1 and ends December 15, 2017.
Insurance agents and brokers can assist consumers with enrolling in a health insurance plan through HealthCare.gov, through an agent or broker, or directly from an insurer. Agents and brokers can recommend specific plans to their clients based on their health care needs and budget, and appointments are free during open enrollment. The Insurance Department encourages consumers who do not receive premium assistance on HealthCare.gov to seek help from an agent or broker to identify all plan options. The Insurance Department website features a federally-created list of agents and brokers who are certified to sell plans on HealthCare.gov, although many also sell plans outside of HealthCare.gov. Consumers may also visit the Find Local Help tool on HealthCare.gov to find a local agent or broker.
Navigators are funded and trained by the federal government to provide free help to consumers, small businesses, and their employees as they look for health coverage options through the Marketplace, including completing eligibility and enrollment forms. They are required to be unbiased, meaning they cannot recommend a specific plan. Certified Application Counselors are certified by the federal government and are based at nonprofit organizations and hospitals. NH residents can find a Navigator using the Find Local Help tool on HealthCare.gov.
Even if consumers like their 2017 plan, they should still shop and compare options for 2018, and they can do this with in-person help. The options available are changing for 2018, meaning some 2017 plans may not be available. All Minuteman Health plans will terminate on December 31, 2017. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care will not offer its New Hampshire Network plans on HealthCare.gov for 2018, but it will offer its ElevateHealth Network. If NH residents have the Harvard Pilgrim New Hampshire Network, they will need to review their provider needs and select a plan accordingly. Network and prescription drug formulary information for 2018 plans sold on HealthCare.gov can be found here.
Plans may also change their in-network providers and prescription drug coverage from year to year. If consumers don’t take any action, HealthCare.gov will automatically enroll them in a plan that is considered “similar” to their current plan; but that plan may not have a similar premium, and their doctors and prescription drugs may not be in network.
NH residents with 2017 coverage received a renewal letter from their insurance company – but the letter’s estimate of what they may pay in monthly premium might be not accurate if they receive a subsidy. This is because precise subsidy information was not available at the time the letters were prepared. If a consumer qualifies for subsidies on HealthCare.gov, the Insurance Department encourages those individuals to use the plan preview tool to get an estimate of their subsidy and premium amounts for 2018.
The NH Insurance Department Can Help:
More information for New Hampshire residents about open enrollment may be found on the Insurance Department’s website. If you have questions about or issues with using the Marketplace and obtaining coverage, please call the federal government at (800) 318-2596. Once you have coverage, please contact the Insurance Department with questions or concerns at 1-800-852-3416 or (603) 271-2261, or by email at email@example.com.