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Letter: Anthem Never Asked Cottage to Join

To the Editor:

I would like to clarify a few points about the introduction of Anthem New Hampshire’s prospective network on the health insurance exchange and what it means for Cottage Hospital and the community we serve.

The Anthem network (known as Pathways) for the health care exchange, a by-product of the Affordable Care Act, is limited to individuals who are financially eligible and choose to purchase insurance through this program.

Here is a list, provided by Anthem, of who will not be impacted by the new network:

∎ Individual members who bought their plans prior to March 23, 2010 (“grandfathered” plans).

∎ Seniors on Medicare.

∎  Employees who receive their health benefits through small-group employers.

∎ Employees who receive their health benefits through large-group employers.

It is important to note that Cottage Hospital was never asked to participate in the Anthem network for this new type of product. Anthem officials explained to us that their decision was due to our border state location and that the network was determined from a geographic standpoint. At a time when individuals face transportation barriers and access-to-care issues, it seems inconceivable that patients’ health-care choices would be limited in this fashion.

We take great pride in caring for our New Hampshire and Vermont communities. We make every effort to run an efficient and effective organization to maintain lower health-care prices.

Cottage has been serving our community for 110 years and while we are saddened by Anthem’s decision to not even ask us to be part of its new ne twork, we will continue to work with them, and all insurance carriers, to offer affordable care and put our patients first.

Maria Ryan

Chief Executive Officer, Cottage Hospital

Woodsville

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Anthem Excludes Hospitals

Friday, September 6, 2013

Lebanon — Officials at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital are searching for answers about why they and two other Upper Valley hospitals will not be included in the network of providers covered in the insurance plans offered through New Hampshire’s health insurance exchange. The Lebanon hospital is among 10 institutions across the state, including Valley Regional in Claremont and Cottage …