(PRWEB) November 01, 2015 -- New Hampshire residents will find more health insurance and dental plans to choose from when they log on to the Health Insurance Marketplace during this year’s open enrollment period, which began on November 1. The 2016 Marketplace has plans from five health insurance carriers that offer coverage at hospitals and health care providers across the state. This coming year, all 26 hospitals in New Hampshire are included in at least two insurance carrier’s networks and most are in three or more, offering Marketplace enrollees more choices than ever.
After Marketplace consumers saw a significant decrease in rates last year, the average premium increase this year is only in the 5% range, according the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. New Hampshire’s rate increase is below the national average of 7.5% for states using Healthcare.gov. That means continued lower costs and more selection, especially when tax credits are factored in. A new Health and Human Services report found that New Hampshire consumers who re-enrolled in the Marketplace last year, and who switched to a plan with the same level of coverage, saved $233 per year after tax credits versus 2014. In total, returning Marketplace consumers who changed plans in New Hampshire saved $1,719,651 in premiums by shopping in the Marketplace last year.
New Hampshire residents can now select from 43 plans for the coming coverage year. Like in recent years, residents will be able to browse plans on the Marketplace and view the details of different levels of coverage, categorized as bronze, silver, gold, platinum, as well as catastrophic plans for those under 30. The insurance carriers offering plans on the 2016 Marketplace are Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Hampshire, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England, Community Health Options, Minuteman Health, and Ambetter from NH Healthy Families, offered by Celtic Insurance.
Residents seeking dental coverage can choose a medical plan that includes it or can choose from one of eight stand-alone dental plans being offered on the Marketplace in 2016. Anthem, Delta Dental, Guardian Life Insurance Company, and Dentegra Insurance Company are all offering stand-alone plans.
Small business owners with 50 or fewer employees can also find more health insurance plan options for their staff in 2016 on the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). There are 30 small group options available on SHOP this year, up from 18 in 2015, as well as 7 stand-alone dental plans to choose from.
As for those who opt not to enroll for coverage, they will pay the higher of these two amounts: 2.5% of their yearly household income or $695 per adult ($347.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family is $2,085.
Also new in 2016 is the addition of the Premium Assistance Program (PAP), a new coverage source made available through the New Hampshire Health Protection Program. Beginning in January 2016, those eligible for the PAP will be able to select from Marketplace plans through NH Easy at nheasy.nh.gov or by calling 1-888-901-4999. To be eligible for the PAP, applicants must be a New Hampshire resident between the ages of 19 and 65, must have an income below 138 percent of the federal poverty line, who upon application do not fall into any other Medicaid eligibility category and do not qualify for Medicare.
Those who are eligible for the Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment can begin the enrollment process by going to Healthcare.gov, calling the federal Health Insurance Marketplace Hotline at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325), or working with a Marketplace Assistor. Open enrollment closes on Jan. 31, 2016. Coverage for plans purchased during open enrollment begin, at the earliest, on Jan. 1, 2016. Additional enrollment information, including a list of Assistors in New Hampshire, is available on CoveringNewHampshire.org.
About Covering New Hampshire
A statewide effort by the New Hampshire Health Plan, Covering New Hampshire is the official, free resource for Granite Staters to learn about the Health Insurance Marketplace, the New Hampshire Health Protection Program and the new, affordable health insurance plans that are now available to you. Learn more by going to http://www.CoveringNewHampshire.org.