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My Turn: Insurance plan is good for patients, good for the state

One of the biggest challenges facing our health care system today is that too many of our family members, friends and neighbors don’t have access to routine, preventative health care because they lack health insurance coverage. This is an issue hospitals in New Hampshire see every day, as those without insurance end up in emergency rooms when their health care condition has become a crisis and they turn to the only place they can for help.

The good news is that there is a proposal before the Legislature that seeks to address this long-standing challenge by extending private health insurance coverage to as many as 50,000 low-income uninsured New Hampshire residents. Hospitals, doctors and other caregivers have all come out in support of SB 413, the New Hampshire Health Protection Plan, and we encourage legislators to approve this bill and extend private health insurance coverage to more New Hampshire citizens.

We applaud legislators for their tremendous efforts to find common ground to move forward in a uniquely New Hampshire way. SB 413 would extend private health insurance coverage to low-income, uninsured New Hampshire residents who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (about $16,000 for an individual), and it would do so using only federal dollars. The people who would qualify for this new private health insurance coverage would soon be able to see a doctor or nurse to help them manage their health, monitor their chronic conditions and avoid waiting until they are in a crisis and have to seek care in the hospital emergency room.

Uncompensated care continues to increase at an unsustainable rate. In 2012, New Hampshire hospitals provided more than $425 million in uncompensated care.

We all pay for the cost of treating the uninsured through higher health insurance premiums, which is essentially a hidden tax that makes health care more expensive and makes us less competitive from an economic standpoint.

This bill will help reduce that level of uncompensated care and in turn reduce the amount of cost shifting within the system. That’s good for patients, providers, businesses and our state’s economy.

New Hampshire’s hospitals strongly support efforts to make the health care system better for our patients, who deserve to receive the right care, at the right place, at the right time, every time. Expanding private health insurance coverage is a major step forward for patients, families, providers, businesses and our state. Let’s pass SB 413, the New Hampshire Health Protection Plan.

(Steve Ahnen is president of the New Hampshire Hospital Association.)

Legacy Comments2

You are correct Itsa. It is called Concierge Medicine. The Doctor or Doctors charge you a yearly fee say $1,800 or $2,000 a year. They limit how many patients they take on. You have direct access to them via E Mail, cell phone etc. And you do not have to wait for an appointment. Their exams can take an hour and a half. It is catching on like wild fire through out the US now. Also finding because you have no time limit when you visit the Doc, the Doc can help you more with diet etc. Customized service. They do blood work, and they figure the fee charge makes up for the low reimbursement they get from the govt for medicare. Some even make house calls.

I heard about a plan from a doctor in New Mexico and he has a new way to deliver health care. He signs up patients for around $85 to $100 per month and they can have as many well care visits as needed to see him for various ills, get an annual yearly physical, annual yearly blood test, other necessary tests, follow up visits. All for between $960 to $1200 per year. Now, that is well care that is delivered much cheaper than Obamacare and much more personal and effective.

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