October 18, 2017

Senators Hassan and Shaheen Secure New Hampshire Priorities in Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Deal

Senators Call on Republicans in Congress, Governor Sununu to Push for Bill’s Passage

WASHINGTON – Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today announced that the bipartisan health care stabilization deal includes a provision that the New Hampshire Insurance Department could use to support its proposal to create a reinsurance pool to help reduce premiums in the state’s individual health insurance market.

Senators Hassan and Shaheen worked with Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) to secure provisions that will support states like New Hampshire in their efforts to create state-based reinsurance programs to stabilize their individual marketplaces. Creating a reinsurance program in New Hampshire’s individual marketplace, similar to the waiver application submitted by the New Hampshire Insurance Department, will help bring premiums down for Granite Staters.

As Senator Alexander pointed out in a floor speech about the legislation: the “… first group of [provisions in the deal] make the section 1332 innovation waivers work by giving more flexibility. In New Hampshire, for example, the state would like to use Medicaid savings to help pay for the cost of its Affordable Care Act waiver, and this would allow that.

“This bipartisan health care stabilization deal includes critical New Hampshire priorities that should help the state pursue a reinsurance program in order to help stabilize the health insurance market and lower premiums for consumers,” said Senator Hassan, who as a member of the Senate HELP Committee participated in four bipartisan hearings last month on stabilizing the health insurance market and lowering costs for consumers. “I urge Governor Sununu to join us in calling for Congressional Republicans and President Trump to support this important deal that will help lower health insurance costs for people in New Hampshire and across America.” 

“This legislation is the product of good-faith bipartisan negotiations and includes a key provision that will help New Hampshire stabilize their healthcare marketplaces,” said Senator Shaheen. “It’s this type of cooperation that the American people demand and expect from Congress, and why Congress should consider it as soon as possible. This legislation is long overdue and I hope Governor Sununu will join with us in urging President Trump to support this measure to begin reversing the Trump administration’s healthcare sabotage.”  

The bipartisan stabilization deal also critically provides certainty around the payment of Cost-Sharing Reductions to help consumers cover out-of-pocket expenses, which experts in New Hampshire and across the country have said is critical to stabilizing markets and lowering health insurance premiums for consumers.

Senators Hassan and Shaheen have been pushing their colleagues for months to act to help stabilize health insurance markets and lower premiums on consumers.

Senator Shaheen has been leading efforts in the Senate to provide marketplace stability by permanently continuing and increasing eligibility for cost-sharing reduction payments. Her bill, the Marketplace Certainty Act, which Senator Hassan cosponsored, would make cost-sharing reduction payments permanent and expand eligibility to more working Americans. Senators Hassan and Shaheen also helped introduce the Individual Health Insurance Marketplace Improvement Act to create a permanent reinsurance program for the individual health insurance market, similar to the successful programs used to lower premiums and spur competition in the Medicare Part D program.

Click here for Commissioner Sevigny’s September 11, 2017 letter on the importance of provisions Senators Hassan and Shaheen worked to secure in the deal.