N.H. Issues Consumer Clarification on ‘Multi-State’ Health Insurance Plans

July 18, 2014

The New Hampshire Insurance Department issued a consumer clarification for state residents Thursday explaining what the term “multi-state” means on the state’s federally facilitated health insurance marketplace, HealthCare.gov.

The insurance department explained for New Hampshire residents who have purchased or will purchase health insurance through HealthCare.gov that the term ‘multi-state’ — when listed in connection with a health insurance plan — refers to an insurer that meets certain requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The term ‘multi-state,’ as used on HealthCare.gov, does not imply that residents may access non-emergency health care coverage beyond New Hampshire.

“We want to help ensure that New Hampshire residents understand the insurance plans they purchase,” said New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny.

“A resident who purchases a health insurance plan labeled ‘multi-state’ through HealthCare.gov should understand that the term does not refer to coverage in other states but rather to the contractual arrangement between the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) – the agency that administers health insurance for Federal employees – and a health insurance company that offers a plan or plans in more than one state.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, U.S. states decided whether to default to a federally facilitated exchange, build a state-based exchange, or create a state-federal partnership. New Hampshire is a partnership state. That means that the state is responsible for reviewing plans on the federally facilitated New Hampshire Health Insurance Marketplace and deciding whether to recommend them for final approval by the federal government.

A spokesperson for the New Hampshire Insurance Department told Insurance Journal that the department has also begun to talk with OPM and CMS about how to clarify the term “multi-state” for consumers who access the plans through HealthCare.gov during the next open enrollment session, which begins Nov. 15.

“One change we have suggested is requiring that the policy itself include an explanation similar to the consumer clarification,” the spokesperson said. “OPM, because it operates the multi-state program, and CMS, because it operates the HealthCare.Gov website, may be able to make additional changes with the potential to reach more consumers.”

The insurance department is advising New Hampshire residents who have questions about their health insurance plans to check their policies and contact their insurance companies directly. Residents with further questions or concerns can contact the insurance department’s Consumer Services division by calling (603) 271-2261 or 1-800-852-3416, or by emailing consumerservices@ins.nh.gov.

Source: The New Hampshire Insurance Department

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