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If you’re looking for affordable health insurance in New Hampshire, you have several options. These options include employer coverage, individual or family plans purchased on New Hampshire’s Health Insurance Marketplace at Healthcare.gov, off-exchange insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and short-term policies.
This guide explains each of these options, potential costs (if any), and how to enroll, join, or purchase an affordable health insurance plan in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire’s Health Insurance Marketplace uses the federal Healthcare.gov platform to enroll residents in ACA plans.
Your first step is to create an account. You’ll be asked for certain personal information such as household size, your income and age, and the ages of people in your household, your address, etc.
Once you enter this information, Healthcare.gov will be able to match you with plans that you’re eligible for, or tell you if you qualify for Medicaid or Medicare. You’ll be able to look at several plans simultaneously to find a plan that provides the best health coverage for your family and works with your budget.
Three companies offer plans on the New Hampshire section of Healthcare.gov:
Before you purchase a health insurance plan, you’ll need to determine your or your family’s health care needs. This will help you find the most affordable health insurance plan.
When selecting an insurance plan for yourself, much will depend upon your state of health. If you’re a healthy individual with minimal health concerns, you may be better off selecting a cheap health insurance plan that offers a low monthly premium and higher deductibles. These deductibles only kick in when you use medical services, so if you’re healthy, this kind of plan can keep your monthly health care costs to a minimum.
If you have a health condition that requires regular medical attention or numerous prescriptions, you may want to consider a plan that has a higher monthly premium but lower deductibles. This will help reduce your overall out-of-pocket expenses.
You can choose from different types of plans including.
When looking for an insurance plan that will work for your whole family, you’ll need to balance the health needs of several individuals against how much you can afford in your budget. For instance, you may have a chronic health issue like hypertension or high blood pressure. Your children may be healthy, or one may have to deal with asthma or a mental health condition. These conditions can drastically change your health insurance needs and impact what kind of plan you should look for.
If your family is healthy overall, you may want to consider an HMO plan. These plans offer lower costs if you and your family are comfortable with the necessary restrictions. If you, your spouse, or any of your children have a chronic health concern, and you need to see doctors or specialists regularly, a PPO or a POS plan may provide you with the coverage you need.
Healthcare.gov organizes its plans into metal tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Selecting a Silver plan rather than a Gold or a Platinum plan does not mean you’ll receive an inferior level of coverage. All plans sold on Healthcare.gov offer affordable health insurance. The difference in the metal tiers is in how costs are divided between you and your insurer.
|Average premium in New Hampshire||2018||2019||2020||2021||2022|
|Most affordable Bronze plan||$391||$302||$303||$247||$264|
|Most affordable Silver plan||$457||$373||$390||$325||$305|
|Most affordable Gold plan||$525||$444||$156||$363||$354|
New Hampshire expanded its Medicare coverage to low-income adults in 2014 and in 2019, began the Granite Advantage Health Care Program. The state no longer buys individual plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace for adults included in the Medicaid expansion. Instead, they’re enrolled in the Granite Advantage Health Care Program.
In January 2021, there were 309,951 individuals enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP (the Children’s Health Insurance Program) in the state. This is a net increase of 143.9% since the Open Enrollment period in October 2013.
You are eligible for Medicaid in New Hampshire if you’re a state resident, a U. S. citizen, national, permanent resident, or legal alien and you need health care or insurance assistance, and your financial situation can be described as low income or very low income. You also need to be fit into one of the following categories:
Individuals or families whose household income is at or below 133% of the FPL are eligible for Medicaid under the Granite Advantage Healthcare Program.
Each category of individuals or families eligible for Medicaid or the Granite Advantage Health Care Program has different income and resource requirements. For instance, medically needy individuals applying for Medicaid face resource limits of $2,500 for an individual, $4,000 for a couple, with an additional $100 for each additional person in your household. Your house, appliances, and one car are excluded when calculating this total.
This program extends health benefits to uninsured children and teens under the age of 19 whose families are ineligible for Medicaid but meet CHIP income eligibility requirements. Medical and dental services are provided, including hospitalizations, doctor’s visits, mental health care, immunizations, vision care, and dental care.
Medicare is the federal government’s health insurance program for those aged 65 and older or younger people with qualifying disabilities.
Medicare Supplement Insurance plans are designed to help cover out-of-pocket expenses that occur with Original Medicare. These plans won’t help you with the cost of vision, dental, hearing, or long-term care. If you’re traveling out of the country, however, a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan can provide you with health coverage. Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans do not work with a Medicare Advantage Plan.
To qualify for Medicare, you must be at least 65 years old or have a qualifying disability. In most cases, a qualifying disability is a condition that makes you eligible for at least 24 months of payments from the Social Security Disability Insurance program or Railroad Retirement Board. You may be able to qualify sooner if you have end-stage renal disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
If you start receiving your Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits at least four months before you turn 65, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare. Otherwise, you must fill out an application online or contact your local Social Security office. You can enroll in Medicare during the following periods:
The New Hampshire State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) provides Medicare beneficiaries, their families, or their caregivers with free, unbiased, and confidential advice and counseling on their Medicare options in New Hampshire. This includes providing information about Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Part D, and other aspects of Medicare. These trained and certified counselors can also help you with other health insurance questions and will never try to sell you a plan.
Yes, short-term policies can offer cheap health insurance, but these plans are limited to six months and cannot be renewed. Residents of New Hampshire also cannot buy a short-term plan if they have been covered by one for more than 540 days in the past 24 months. You can apply for a new short-term plan after the first one ends, but it must be a separate plan with new out-of-pocket expenses.
Short-term plans do not cover pre-existing conditions or mental health care. These plans are designed for people who are unemployed and need coverage until a new plan is available, missed the Open Enrollment period for Healthcare.gov, or only need a health insurance plan for a short period of time.
Although the ACA originally required Americans to have health insurance and imposed a tax penalty on those who didn’t, the penalty no longer applies. New Hampshire does not have a state health insurance requirement.
No, you can also purchase off-exchange health insurance in New Hampshire through a broker, an insurance agent, or a health insurance company.
The most common kind of cost-sharing plan in New Hampshire is a faith-based plan. Members of these plans share health care costs. You don’t need to be a member of a particular denomination, or belong to any religious group, if you want to participate in a plan. These plans aren’t insurance and aren’t required to conform to ACA standards. Plans can be inexpensive but often don’t cover pre-existing conditions or other essential health care benefits.
Yes. Saving enough money on an HSA/FSA plan to pay for health care bills after serious illness or injury is almost impossible. Instead, these plans should be used to pay for deductibles, coinsurance fees, copays, and dental or vision care.
Yes, but it depends upon your job. You may not need it, but if you work at a job where injury is a possibility, it’s a good idea. Short-term disability coverage pays for household expenses like utilities, groceries, and your mortgage. These expenses are not covered by health insurance.
If you have a dangerous job, it’s a good idea to have long-term disability coverage. However, you also need health insurance. Disability coverage pays for household expenses that are not covered by health insurance.