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Letter: Anthem never asked our hospital to participate

I would like to clarify a few points about the introduction of Anthem New Hampshire’s Health Insurance Exchange prospective network and what it means for Cottage Hospital in Woodsville and the community we serve.

The Anthem Network (known as Pathways) for the Health Care Exchange, a bi-product of the Affordable Care Act, is limited to individuals who are financially eligible and choose to purchase insurance through this program. Here is a list, provided by Anthem of who is not impacted by the new network: individual members who bought their plans prior to March 23, 2010 (also called grandfathered plans); seniors on Medicare; employees who receive their health benefits through small-group employers; employees who receive their health benefits through large-group employers.

It is important to note that Cottage Hospital was never asked to participate in the Anthem Network for this new type of product and was given the explanation by Anthem officials that it was due to our border state location and that the network was determined from a geographic standpoint. At a time when individuals face transportation barriers and access to care issues, it seems inconceivable that we would limit their health care choices. We take great pride in caring for our New Hampshire and Vermont communities. We make every effort to run an efficient and effective organization to maintain lower health care prices.

Cottage has been serving our community for 110 years and while we are saddened by Anthem’s decision to not even ask us to be part of its individual and exchange network, we will continue to work with it, and all insurance carriers, to offer affordable care and put our patients first.

MARIA RYAN

Woodsville

(The writer is CEO of Cottage Hospital.)

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