March 17, 2013

Survey: N.H. residents in dark about health plans

The Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. - As New Hampshire prepares for the new insurance markets required under the federal health care overhaul, a recent survey highlights how little residents agree on or even know about the looming changes.

New Hampshire Voices for Health -- a network of more than 40 organizations that advocates for affordable, quality health care -- hired an independent consultant to design and administer an online survey seeking input on how the marketplace should operate in New Hampshire.

By the time the survey ended last week, 648 people had responded, according to results provided to The Associated Press. And while the survey was unscientific, its findings suggest that much work remains to be done to inform and educate businesses about the health insurance marketplaces, which will offer consumers one-stop shopping along the lines of amazon.com .

"Those who live in this bubble of hearing about the marketplace all the time forget that the vast majority of the people in the state know very little about it," said Lisa Kaplan Howe, policy director at Voices for Health.

There was some consensus among survey participants in some areas. More than 90 percent said providing people with accurate, easily comparable information about health plans should be a high priority.

And most participants said they don't trust the government to provide them with information about the marketplace and their health plan options. About 40 percent said they would trust a local nonprofit group.

 

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