The federal health care reform laws, the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, PPACA (PL 111-148), and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (PL 111-152), are collectively referred to as the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). Some of the goals of the ACA are to:
- Address the affordability of health insurance coverage for low-income individuals;
- Address health insurance company policies that may be obstacles for low-income individuals obtaining health insurance; and
- Address availability of private health insurance coverage for low-income individuals.
The ACA provides federal funding to states to expand their Medicaid programs to include non-disabled low-income individuals (income below 138% of the federal poverty line). It is up to each state to decide whether to accept these funds and participate in the expansion. New Hampshire is still in the process of making this decision.
Whether or not NH expands Medicaid, as of January 1, 2014, most New Hampshire citizens are required to have health coverage:
- People already covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or most job-based health coverage do not need to buy new coverage.
- New Hampshire citizens without health insurance coverage, who are not Medicaid eligible, are able to:
- Buy health insurance coverage through the New Hampshire Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace) operated by the federal government by going to https://www.healthcare.gov/ OR calling 1-800-318-2596 TTY: 1-855-889-4325 (a representative is available 24/7); or
- Buy individual health insurance coverage in the private market (outside the Marketplace).
- People using the Marketplace can apply for advance premium tax credits (APTC) and cost-sharing reductions (CSR) to help in the costs for paying for health insurance (a representative at 1-800-318-2596 will be able to assist you with this).
- People buying coverage outside of the Marketplace will not have access to this cost assistance.
More information on the ACA is available on the Marketplace website and http://kff.org/. The Marketplace shows the health plans being offered, and provides a calculator you can use to see if you are eligible for assistance in affording coverage, based on your income.
NH Citizens interested in seeing if they are eligible for health insurance coverage under the Medicaid program, can obtain information in a number of ways:
- Go to https://nheasy.nh.gov, to complete an application online;
- Go to http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dfa/apply.htm to print out an Application, complete it, and mail or fax it to the address on the application.
- Contact your local District Office to have an Application mailed to you. To find the District Office that serves your area, please see Catchment Areas
- Call us at 1-800-852-3345 extension 9700 to apply over the phone.
If you have questions about private health insurance coverage, whether sold on the Marketplace or outside the Marketplace, you can also contact the New Hampshire Insurance Department:
or call (603) 271-2261 or 1-800-852-3416 (Consumer Hotline)