Lewiston startup insurer to offer plan on New Hampshire health care exchange

Posted June 03, 2014, at 10:24 a.m.

LEWISTON, Maine — The nonprofit health insurance cooperative Maine Community Health Options has received preliminary approval to offer its plans in four New Hampshire counties that border Maine, where the company started and has captured nearly 80 percent of the federally required health care marketplace.

The New Hampshire Department of Insurance reported Monday that it licensed Maine Community Health Options to provide plans in Rockingham, Strafford, Carroll and Coos counties. The insurer previously incorporated New Hampshire hospitals into its network, to cater to Maine residents living near the border, and plans to expand its New Hampshire offerings during 2015.

The company was licensed along with Milwaukee-based Assurant Health. New Hampshire’s regulatory agency for insurance said it expects having five insurers offering plans on its exchange in 2015, including Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, which enrolled people in 2014, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Minuteman Health, which previously announced their intent to offer plans on the New Hampshire exchange.

In Maine, MCHO and Anthem are the only insurers approved to sell plans through the online marketplace created under the federal Affordable Care Act.

The company’s request to sell plans on New Hampshire’s exchange, administered under a partnership agreement between the federal and state government, still requires a formal recommendation from state regulators and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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