EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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December 14, 2013

Insurance exchange numbers growing in N.H.

(Continued)

Participation in those classes at the library is down.

“Attendance has declined substantially,” adult services librarian Sherry Bailey said. “Interest is really low.”

Fifty-two participated in September. Sixteen did so in October, just two in November.

People were eager to learn amid publicity about the exchange, but were disappointed when the program opened, she said.

“People were being overloaded with information and they were frustrated the website was not functional,” Bailey said.

New Hampshire statistics released by the federal government showed 17,234 people have applied for coverage and 12,768 have been deemed eligible for a plan. But just over 1,500 have enrolled in a plan.

As the number of participants grows, so does the realization that the system is very much evolving.

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., this week announced New Hampshire consumers can expect more choices a year from now.

Minuteman Health Inc. of Massachusetts has been approved by federal regulators to expand in New Hampshire with new health care plans.

Shea-Porter had encouraged regulators to allow Minuteman Health into New Hampshire to give consumers more options.

“I am pleased that New Hampshire families and individuals will have more choices for coverage, and I will continue working to increase competition and drive down health care costs,” Shea-Porter said.

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