CONCORD — While New Hampshire lawmakers have slowed the implementation the federal health overhaul law, others are figuring out how to spread the word about the upcoming changes.
The sole company offering insurance policies in the state’s new online markets plans an extensive education campaign, AARP is recruiting volunteers to give presentations about the law and community health centers will use federal funds to hire more workers who can help patients explore their options.
But unlike many other states, New Hampshire has no immediate plans to roll out its own marketing campaign.
Under a state law passed last year, New Hampshire is prohibited from setting up the online insurance markets that are a key part of the federal law. Gov. Maggie Hassan later decided to have the state partner with the federal government to both manage insurance plans and to provide consumer assistance, but Republicans who oppose the federal law have thwarted her efforts by blocking the state insurance department from accepting federal funds.
“The bottom line is we have no money,” Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny said this summer. “We’ve not stopped thinking about it, but we’re thinking about it in much leaner ways.”
The states that have been more receptive to the health care overhaul and are further ahead in planning will receive proportionally more federal money for outreach, advertising and marketing than Republican-led states that have been hostile to the law, according to data compiled The Associated Press from federal and state sources.
Federal spending in New Hampshire amounts to $1.09 per person, though the Legislature has blocked the state from accepting nearly half of the total. That puts New Hampshire in the middle compared with all other states, while among other states that also have 11 percent uninsured populations, per capita spending ranges from 49 cents in Pennsylvania to $7.66 in Delaware.