KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Three N.H. Insurers Confirm Their Intent To Stay In The Obamacare Exchange

The companies -- Anthem, Harvard Pilgrim and Ambetter by NH Healthy Families -- will offer plans on the health exchange for 2018. But the continuing uncertainty regarding federal health law action led regulators in nearby Massachusetts to delay the approval of individual and small business insurance rates that are set to take effect Jan. 1. News outlets also report on rate hikes and turmoil in Iowa and Georgia.

The Associated Press: Companies Set To Participate New Hampshire Insurance Market
Uncertainty over which health insurers will continue coverage under the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire ended Wednesday, with three companies confirming their participation before the deadline. ... Anthem, Harvard Pilgrim, Ambetter by NH Healthy Families all had indicated earlier this year they planned to continue in the marketplace, but in recent weeks declined to reaffirm their commitments. All three, however, had done so by Wednesday’s deadline for states to submit all 2018 plan information, other than rates, to the federal government. (Ramer, 8/16)

New Hampshire Union Leader: Anthem, Harvard Pilgrim To Offer Plans On Obamacare Exchange In 2018
Anthem and Harvard Pilgrim have confirmed they will offer plans on the Obamacare health exchange in New Hampshire for 2018, along with Ambetter, state officials announced Wednesday. But Minuteman Health, which announced in June it was pulling out of the New Hampshire market in 2018, said its senior management wasn’t able to meet Wednesday’s deadline to secure licensing approval for a new health insurance company, Minuteman Insurance Company, to offer policies on the exchange. (Cousineau, 8/16)

Concord Monitor: Three Companies Will Stay In N.H.’s Health Insurance Market
The New Hampshire health insurance marketplace will have three companies in 2018, after Anthem and Harvard Pilgrim confirmed Wednesday that they will offer plans through the exchange. Anthem covers about 27,000 state residents, and Harvard Pilgrim covers about 11,000 residents through HealthCare.gov and the state’s Medicaid expansion program. (8/16)

Boston Globe: Minuteman Health Won’t Relaunch As For-Profit
Minuteman Health Inc., a small Boston-based health insurer, has failed to raise enough money to continue selling plans next year, forcing thousands of people in Massachusetts and New Hampshire to find new health insurance for 2018. ... Insurance companies are required by state regulators to keep a certain level of cash on hand to pay claims. (Dayal McCluskey, 8/16)

Boston Globe: Amid Uncertainty, State Delays Approval Of 2018 Insurance Rates
The uncertainty about the future of national health policy reverberated in Massachusetts Wednesday when state regulators delayed approving insurance rates for individuals and small businesses that are set to kick in Jan. 1. ...Without the subsidies — expected to total $132 million in Massachusetts next year — insurers would be forced to sharply increase their prices, they say. (Dayal McCluskey, 8/16)

Des Moines Register: Sole Obamacare Insurer In Iowa Seeks 57 Percent Rate Hike
Iowans who buy their own health insurance through the Affordable Care Act exchange would see their rates increase nearly 57 percent next year under a revised rate proposed Wednesday. The proposal is 13 percentage points higher than previously was estimated by Medica, the one remaining carrier selling individual policies in Iowa next year. Medica attributed the additional increase to uncertainties over federal health care subsidies, the insurer said in a release. (Clayworth, 8/16)

In related news —

Politico Pro: Failure Of Obamacare Repeal Raises Stakes For State Waiver Bids
The demise of Republicans’ Obamacare repeal effort is putting more pressure on the Trump administration to allow states more leeway to carve out major pieces of the 2010 health care law. ... More requests could follow to force people who get subsidized insurance to pay part of the cost based on their incomes and subject those who’ve let their coverage lapse to waiting periods before they can re-enroll. (Colliver, 8/16)

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