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A weekly publication of               3/18/2014

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If you need help understanding your options for coverage or signing up for a health care plan, you can get free assistance from a trained “navigator” or certified application counselor.  Go toFind Local Help atHealthCare.gov. There, you enter your city and state or zip code to get a list of helpers available in your area.

The website Healthcare.gov has been the butt of a lot jokes the past few months. In fact, President Obama, himself, joked about it last week on the web series, “Between Two Ferns.” That viral video had a lot of people talking and a lot more heading to the Healthcare.gov website to sign up. And that is exactly what the administration was looking to have happen.

Nationally, young adults account for slightly less than one-fourth of the Americans who signed up for health plans during the initial three months of federal and state insurance marketplaces — fewer than the government has said will be needed to make the economics of the new exchanges work – which is why the President took to the comic webwaves.

Under the ACA, everyone must have health insurance this year or pay a penalty. The penalty is at least $95 but potentially much more, depending on income.

Those who fail to sign up by March 31 will have to wait until November for another chance to buy health insurance through the marketplaces.

But here in New Hampshire not everyone is waiting. As Todd Bookmanreported for NHPR a few days ago, more than 21,000 New Hampshire residents have signed up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act, according to new data released by the federal government.

Here are the New Hampshire numbers:

  • In February, 4,715 enrolled in coverage, bringing the total since October above the federal government’s estimate of 19,000 total sign-ups for the state.
  • Women account for 55% of enrollees,
  • Nearly 3-in-4 residents qualified for some level of financial assistance.

Nationally, the numbers look like this:

  • More than 4.2 million (4,242,300) people selected Marketplace plans from Oct. 1, 2013, through Mar. 1, 2014, including 1.6 million in the State Based Marketplaces and 2.6 million in the Federally-facilitated Marketplace. About 943,000 people enrolled in the Health Insurance Marketplace plans in the February reporting period, which concluded March 1, 2014.
  • Of the more than 4.2 million:
  • 55 percent are female and 45 percent are male;
  • 31 percent are age 34 and under;
  • 25 percent are between the ages of 18 and 34;
  • 63 percent selected a Silver plan (up one percentage point over the prior reporting period), while 18 percent selected a Bronze plan (down one point); and
  • 83 percent selected a plan and are eligible to receive Financial Assistance (up one point).

If you live in New Hampshire and don’t have insurance, aren’t happy with your current coverage, or are looking for a more affordable plan, the new Health Insurance Marketplace provides you with new options to find health coverage that fits your budget. You can search and compare plans online, and quickly see if there’s a plan that works for you, by visiting the Covering New Hampshire website.

Whether you need health coverage or already have it, the new health care law offers new rights and protections that make coverage fairer and easier to understand. If you already have an individual insurance plan and want to change it, you can use the Marketplace to explore your options and enroll in a new plan. But even if you don’t want to change plans, the health care law protects you by:

  • Requiring insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Holding insurance companies accountable for rate increases.
  • Preventing insurance companies from canceling your coverage just because you get sick.
  • Ends lifetime and yearly dollar limits on coverage of essential health benefits, including emergency rooms visits, prescription drugs, preventive care, and many others.

If you or someone you know needs health insurance, please check it out today, so you won’t miss the March 31st deadline.

Wednesday, March 19, 10am – 4pm and Thursday, March 20, 10am – 4pm, House Session, Representatives Hall

Click here to see more events in New Hampshire!


Here are some of the pieces of legislation that Every Child Matters in NH has been following this session and where they now stand:

HB1213: Prohibiting the purchase of alcohol or tobacco products with an EBT card.
•Committee recommendation: Refer for Interim Study.
➢The bill is scheduled for a House vote on March 19th.

HB1403: Establishing a state minimum hourly wage.
•House voted Ought to Pass. 173-188.
➢Moves to the Senate.

HB1409: Expanding the law against discrimination to prohibit housing discrimination against recipients of rental assistance and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
•House voted Ought to Pass with Amendment.
➢Moves to the Senate.

HB1411: Relative to restoring moneys to the department of health and human services.
•Committee recommendation: Ought to Pass with Amendment.
➢This bill is scheduled for a House vote on March 19th.

HB1442: Relative to mental health courts.
•House voted Ought to Pass with Amendment. 
➢Moves to the Senate.

HB1624: Modernizing the juvenile justice system to ensure rehabilitation of juveniles and preservation of juvenile rights.
•Committee Recommendation: Ought to Pass with Amendment.
➢This bill scheduled for a House vote on March 19th.

SB193: Establishing a commission to study pathways to oral health care in New Hampshire.
•Senate voted Ought to Pass with Amendment. 22-2
➢Bill has been introduced in the House and Referred to Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee.

SB203: Relative to permissible uses of electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards.
•Senate voted Ought to Pass with Amendment. 20-3
➢Moves to the House.

SB207: Relative to paycheck equity.
•Senate voted Ought to Pass with Amendment. 20-3
➢Moves to the House.

SB270: Establishing a commission to study mental health implementation in New Hampshire.
•Senate voted Ought to Pass with Amendment.
➢Introduced in House and Referred to Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee.

SB413: Relative to access to health insurance coverage.
•Senate voted Ought to Pass with Amendment. 18-5
➢Bill is currently in House Finance, with an Executive Session scheduled for 3/18/13 at 10am. LOB 210-211

We will keep you updated as these bills move forward.

MaryLou Beaver
New Hampshire Director
Every Child Matters Education Fund


You can help win the fight for our kids by making a tax-deductible donation to ECM in any amount at www.everychildmatters.org.

Every Child Matters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to make children a national political priority. For more information, visit www.everychildmatters.org
1023 15th St. NW Suite 401 Washington, DC 20005

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