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New Hampshire Health Insurance Consumer Guide
We’ve created this New Hampshire health insurance guide to help you understand the coverage options available to you and your family. ACA Marketplace (exchange) plans – or Obamacare – are available for people who need to buy their own health coverage. We’re here to help you understand the coverage options and how financial assistance works under the ACA.
New Hampshire did not create its own state-run exchange, so New Hampshire’s Marketplace is the federally run HealthCare.gov. The Marketplace is a platform where various private health insurers offer coverage for individuals and families.
A New Hampshire Marketplace plan can be a great coverage option if you aren’t eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, and also don’t have an offer of affordable health insurance from your employer.
Explore our other comprehensive guides to coverage in New Hampshire
Dental coverage in New Hampshire
Looking to improve your smile and save some money at the dentist’s office? Consider dental insurance in addition to your medical coverage. Our guide explores dental coverage options in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire’s Medicaid program
New Hampshire expanded Medicaid eligibility under the ACA, and by April 2023, Medicaid/CHIP enrollment in New Hampshire stood at more than 224,000 people – a 77% increase from 20131. After being paused for three years during the pandemic, New Hampshire resumed Medicaid disenrollment in April 2023, and enrollment had dropped by tens of thousands of people within a few months.2
Medicare enrollment in New Hampshire
As of early 2023, more than 330,000 New Hampshire residents were enrolled in Medicare.3 Our New Hampshire Medicare guide explains what you need to know about Medicare coverage options and Medicare regulations in the state.
Short-term coverage in New Hampshire
New Hampshire allows short-term plans to be sold within parameters set by the state, but there are currently no insurers that market short-term health insurance in the state.4
Frequently asked questions about health insurance in New Hampshire
Who can buy Marketplace health insurance?
In order to sign up for private health coverage through the New Hampshire Marketplace, you must:
- Live in New Hampshire
- Be lawfully present in the United States
- Not be incarcerated
- Not be enrolled in Medicare
By those rules, the majority of Americans qualify to use the Marketplace.5 But a bigger question for most people is financial assistance, and there are a few additional parameters in order to qualify for subsidies in the Marketplace.
- Not have access to affordable health coverage through an employer. If you have access to an employer’s plan but it seems too expensive, you can use our Employer Health Plan Affordability Calculator to see if you might qualify for premium subsidies in the Marketplace.
- Not be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP.
Beyond those basic parameters, qualifying for Marketplace subsidies depends on your income and how it compares with the cost of the second-lowest-cost Silver plan in your area. (Note that the cost of this plan will vary depending on your age and location)
When can I enroll in an ACA-compliant plan in New Hampshire?
For coverage to take effect on January 1, you need to complete your application by December 15. Applications submitted between December 16 and January 15 will have a February 1 coverage effective date.5
Outside of the annual open enrollment window, you may be eligible to enroll if you experience a qualifying life event, such as giving birth or losing other health coverage. And some people can enroll year-round even without a specific qualifying life event.7
Enrollment in New Hampshire Medicaid/CHIP is available year-round.
How do I enroll in a New Hampshire Marketplace plan?
To enroll in an ACA Marketplace plan in New Hampshire, you can:
- Visit HealthCare.gov, New Hampshire’s health insurance Marketplace. HealthCare.gov is an online platform where you can compare plans, see your subsidy eligibility, and enroll in the plan that best meets your needs.
- Purchase Marketplace coverage with the help of an insurance agent or broker, a Navigator or certified application counselor, or an approved enhanced direct enrollment entity.8
You can reach HealthCare.gov’s call center by dialing 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). The call center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except holidays.
How can I find affordable health insurance in New Hampshire?
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there are income-based subsidies that can help lower your premium payments each month. These subsidies are available to New Hampshire residents who meet the eligibility requirements and enroll in Marketplace coverage.
As of 2023, six out of ten New Hampshire Marketplace enrollees were receiving premium subsidies, and these subsidies reduced their average health insurance premiums by $345/month. After accounting for subsidies, the average enrollee’s premium was about $149/month.9
If your household income is below 250% of the federal poverty level, you may also be eligible for cost-sharing reductions (CSR), as long as you select a Silver-level plan. These subsidies are designed to reduce your deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. As of 2023, 29% of Marketplace enrollees in New Hampshire Marketplace were receiving CSR benefits.10
You can use both APTC and CSR benefits if you’re eligible for both and you select a Silver-level plan in the Marketplace (APTC can be used with plans at any metal level, but CSR benefits are only available on Silver plans).
Depending on your income and circumstances, you may be able to enroll in free or low cost health coverage through Medicaid or CHIP. Check to see if you meet the criteria for Medicaid in New Hampshire.
How many insurers offer Marketplace coverage in New Hampshire?
In 2023, there are three private insurers that offer coverage through the New Hampshire Marketplace, and all three plan to continue to offer coverage in 2024.12
In most of New Hampshire, at least three insurers are offering plans.13
- Celtic Insurance Company (Ambetter)
- Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare of New England
- Matthew Thornton Health Plan (Anthem BCBS)
Are Marketplace health insurance premiums increasing in New Hampshire?
For 2024, the state’s individual market insurers have proposed an overall weighted average rate increase of about 3%.14 These rates are under review by state regulators and final rates will be made public in the fall, coinciding with the start of open enrollment.
The following average rate changes have been proposed by the insurers that offer coverage via New Hampshire’s exchange, applicable to full-price premiums (ie, these rate changes are calculated before subsidies are applied, and most exchange enrollees receive subsidies):
The following table highlights each Marketplace insurer’s proposed rate changes for 2024 Marketplace health plans. These rates are subject to the state’s approval and will be finalized in Fall 2023.
New Hampshire’s ACA Marketplace Plan 2024 Proposed Rate Increases by Insurance Company
|Celtic Insurance Company||0.67%|
|Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of NE||-4.85%|
|Matthew Thornton Hlth Plan(Anthem BCBS)||4.25%|
|Anthem Health Plans of NH(Anthem BCBS)*||5.42%|
Source: New Hampshire Rate Review Submissions12
*Anthem Health Plans does not offer an exchange plan on the Marketplace
It’s important to remember that these average rate increases are for full-price plans, and most enrollees do not pay full price: As of 2023, 70% of New Hampshire’s Marketplace enrollees were receiving premium subsidies that reduced their monthly payments.10
How many people are insured through New Hampshire’s Marketplace?
What health insurance resources are available to New Hampshire residents?
HealthCare.gov: This is New Hampshire’s Marketplace. Residents can enroll in individual/family health plans and receive income-based subsidies. You can contact HealthCare.gov at 800-318-2596.
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services: The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services administers Medicaid and CHIP, as well as other social services programs. You can reach them at 1-844-ASK-DHHS (1-844-275-3447) For TDD Access, use Relay NH 1-800-735-2964
New Hampshire Insurance Department: Regulates the New Hampshire insurance industry, and assists consumers and businesses with insurance-related questions and concerns.
New Hampshire State Health Insurance Assistance Program: A local service that provides information and assistance with questions related to Medicare eligibility, enrollment, and claims.
Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.Footnotes
- "April 2023 Medicaid & CHIP Enrollment Data Highlights" medicaid.gov, April 2023
- "DHHS Medicaid Continuous Enrollment NH Unwinding" July 2023
- "Medicare Monthly Enrollment" CMS.gov, April 2023
- “Availability of short-term health insurance in New Hampshire” healthinsurance.org, Aug. 14, 2023
- “A quick guide to the Health Insurance Marketplace®” HealthCare.gov, Accessed August, 2023
- “What do I need to know about open enrollment in New Hampshire?” New Hampshire Insurance Department
- “Who doesn’t need a special enrollment period?“ healthinsurance.org, Accessd August 2023
- “Entities Approved to Use Enhanced Direct Enrollment” CMS.gov, April 28, 2023
- “2023 OEP State-Level Public Use File” CMS.gov, March 23, 2023
- ”Effectuated Enrollment: Early 2023 Snapshot and Full Year 2022 Average” CMS.gov, March 15, 2023
- “2023 OEP State-Level Public Use File” CMS.gov, March 23, 2023
- “New Hampshire Rate Review Submissions” HealthCare.gov, Accessed August 2023
- “County by County Plan Year 2023 Insurer Participation in Health Insurance Exchanges” CMS.gov, 2023
- “New Hampshire: Preliminary Avg. Unsubsidized 2024 #ACA Rate Changes: 3.1%” ACASignups.net, Aug. 11, 2023
- “Marketplace 2023 Open Enrollment Period Report: Final National Snapshot” CMS.gov, Jan. 25, 2023
- “ASPE Issue Brief (2014)” ASPE, 2015
- “Health Insurance Marketplaces 2015 Open Enrollment Period: March Enrollment Report”, HHS.gov, 2015
- “HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACES 2016 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD: FINAL ENROLLMENT REPORT” HHS.gov, 2016
- “2017 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2017
- “2018 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2018
- “2019 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2019
- “2020 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2020
- “2021 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2021
- “2022 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2022
- “Health Insurance Marketplaces 2023 Open Enrollment Report” CMS.gov, 2023