The Bulletin Board

Enrollment for free or low-cost health insurance on federal Marketplace ends Sunday

By: - January 12, 2023 1:24 pm

At this time last year, 51,058 Granite Staters had subsidized insurance through the Marketplace. CMS said 53,785 have enrolled so far this year. (Getty Images)

Individuals and families have just a few days left before the Jan. 15 deadline to sign up for free or low-cost health insurance through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace. Insurance officials have been concerned that the public does not know more people qualify than in prior years due to significant changes to eligibility rules, and that subsidies are larger.

The federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services reported Wednesday that as of Saturday nearly 16 million people had enrolled nationwide, a 13 percent increase from last year. Andrew Demers, spokesperson for the state Department of Insurance, said their office has not received state-level enrollment numbers from the federal government. But First Choice Services, one of the two federally funded “navigators” that help people evaluate plan options and enroll, said CMS data shows that enrollments in the state are up 5.75 percent.

Jeremy Smith, program director for First Choice Services

At this time last year, 51,058 Granite Staters had subsidized insurance through the Marketplace. CMS said 53,785 have enrolled so far this year.

New this year, more family members who are covered under a household member’s work plan may be eligible for a subsidized plan. The fix of the so-called “family glitch” no longer bases eligibility on the cost of the employer’s individual plan, which is most often less expensive than the family plan. 

The income cap for eligibility was raised this year as well, and subsidies have increased. 

“Most people will qualify for substantially lower costs this year if they get their insurance on the Marketplace,” said Jeremy Smith, program director for First Choice Services, in a statement. “We are urging people to look at the new plans and prices released this year. Even if you have looked into insurance on the Marketplace in past years and were not very happy, you should look into it again this year.” 

Individuals seeking help understanding and evaluating their options have several options. First Choice Services and Health Market Connect, the other federal navigator, provide free assistance in multiple languages. The New Hampshire Insurance Department is another option, as is the state’s benefits assistance portal, nheasy.nh.gov.

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Annmarie Timmins
Annmarie Timmins

Senior reporter Annmarie Timmins is a New Hampshire native who covered state government, courts, and social justice issues for the Concord Monitor for 25 years. During her time with the Monitor, she won a Nieman Fellowship to study journalism and mental health courts at Harvard for a year. She has taught journalism at the University of New Hampshire and writing at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications.

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