HIX Questions Abound in New Hampshire

by Patrick Riley 12 Aug 2013
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I recently spent a week in New Hampshire, the home of true democracy and town hall meetings. I attended such a meeting in Concord where the subject was health insurance exchanges.There was an overwhelming feeling of frustration and lack of information for attendees to digest and get answers.

As the meeting drew on specifics began to emerge and the reality of the night was that no one truly understands how and what health insurance will be made available to residents come 1 October of this year. There were multiple queries in regard to essential health benefits (EHB) and what coverage would be made available through the federally approved health insurance carriers. And many questions were centered around premiums for the 4 levels of coverage.

New Hampshire, of course borders Massachusetts and is very familiar with health insurance, but people here want information first  hand. Nothing, including politics and healthcare is accepted at face value. Granite state people like to look candidates and federal programs in the eye, ask questions, and get answers. Unfortunately, on this cool August evening, many more questions arose rather than being answered. I was able to see people, good people, become angry, and disenfranchised.

We only have 6 weeks until the HIXs go live and much needs to be explained, digested, and then acted upon. As this crowd ushered out, materials handed out at the onset of the meeting were stuffed into trash receptacles rather than taken home. A typically bad omen for aspiring Presidential candidates, and perhaps equally as ominous for the Affordable Care Act.

New Hampshire Town Hall Meeting, Concord

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