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Legislators give N.H. Medicaid expansion plan a green light

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The joint fiscal committee approved New Hampshire’s planned application for expanding Medicaid yesterday. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services must approve the proposal, which would extend insurance coverage to about 50,000 low-income adults under the Affordable Care Act. In four votes split largely along party lines, the committee agreed to a plan developed by the state Department of Health and Human Services and Jeff Myers, director of intergovernmental …

N.H. Insurance Department hears arguments over Anthem’s narrow network

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

State Insurance Department officials yesterday defended their decision to recommend Anthem’s limited network for plans sold in the state through the Affordable Care Act, against a challenge from a Rochester woman who said the network could cost her a 15-year relationship with her doctor. Anthem is the only insurance company selling plans this year on the exchange, the online marketplace created by the …

N.H. Obamacare enrollment more than doubles expectations

Thursday, May 1, 2014

More than twice the expected number of New Hampshire residents enrolled in health insurance plans offered for the first time through the federal program known as Obamacare, according to new data released by federal officials yesterday. Almost half of those 40,262 people enrolled in the last 45 days of the open enrollment period. “We live in a deadline-driven society. People wait until the …

HealthBeat Mailbag: The Cliff’s Notes on defeating gluten, sugar and hot flashes

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Few desks at the Monitor receive more interesting mail than HealthBeat. “Valentine’s Day is for Baby-Making,” reads one press release, promising to reveal the secrets of conceiving over the holiday weekend. (We trust you actually know how to …

Anthem’s narrow network, N.H. insurance regulators criticized at hearing

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

More than two dozen people, most from Rochester, excoriated state insurance officials yesterday for approving a network for the state’s federal health insurance exchange that excludes 10 of the state’s 26 hospitals, including theirs, Frisbie Memorial Hospital. “The …

Expanded dental hygienist bill faces opposition in Senate

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A group of 24 organizations announced yesterday they support a bill before the Senate to broaden the role of dental hygienists, a move the New Hampshire Dental Society opposes and says is an unnecessary distraction from the real barriers to dental care. New Hampshire consistently ranks among the …

Health Beat: Anxious kids, anxious parents: Local therapist, author to speak at Gibsons

Sunday, January 19, 2014

L ynn Lyons sat in the dimly lit room, knowing that in a few minutes Katie Couric would say her name, the cameras would turn to focus on her face, and she’d be speaking live, in front of …

Healthbeat: Malpractice panels haven’t eased process so far

Saturday, January 18, 2014

New Hampshire’s process for screening medical malpractice cases before trial is slow and expensive, and usage is low and falling, statistics show. Nevertheless, a legislative oversight committee has recommended leaving the program in place rather than making changes, …

Robert Steigmeyer, Concord Hospital’s new CEO, takes over

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Robert Steigmeyer is the black sheep in his family. The other five children born to Dr. David Steigmeyer of Fort Wayne, Ind., are in direct patient care like their dad, a longtime pediatrician. There’s the son who joined …

Thirteen new urgent care centers seek N.H. licenses

Friday, January 10, 2014

New Hampshire patients in need of quick access to health care are going to have many more options, especially in more rural areas of the state. Thirteen urgent care or outpatient clinics – including one in Belmont and …

Health care site in New Hampshire mostly working well, officials say

Friday, January 10, 2014

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Hampshire has received 10,000 applications for health coverage through the federal health insurance marketplace, and payments for more than half of them, company President Lisa Guertin told a state oversight board yesterday. Multiple people can be covered through one application – …

How to conquer New Year’s resolutions from quitting smoking to climbing Everest

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Making a New Year’s resolution to improve your health? I spoke with local experts in a handful of health fields about how to achieve health goals, and their advice – for conquering things ranging from anxiety to excess …

New Hampshire’s Obamacare website launches today, same day as deadline to sign up

Monday, December 23, 2013

Scroll down the front page of the brand new website and take a look at the “Key Dates” section. “Oct. 1: Open enrollment began,” it reads. “Jan. 1: Earliest date coverage begins. . . . Mar. 31: Open enrollment closes for plan year 2014.” There’s one important …

New Hampshire ranked state most prepared for infectious outbreak

Sunday, December 22, 2013

New Hampshire ranked first in a new survey of states’ readiness to face an infectious disease outbreak. The state was the only one to receive eight out of 10 possible points on the survey, by the Trust for America’s Health. And the two points the state missed? New …

Prices up, use down in New Hampshire health care market

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Health care costs in New Hampshire continue to rise, and individuals are paying a larger share of those costs, according to a new report from the state Insurance Department out yesterday. The report is based on 2012 numbers, but both of those trends – and a third: people …