- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 18, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The sponsor of a bill that would have allowed New Hampshire to set up its own insurance marketplace under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law said Tuesday the measure is now unnecessary.

The Senate Health, Education and Human Services Committee held a brief public hearing on Sen. Peggy Gilmour’s bill that would have repealed the prohibition on a state-based health exchange enacted by the previous Legislature. It also would have required insurance companies to create broad provider networks for individual plans sold through the marketplace.

Currently, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the company selling health insurance through the marketplace, and it has been criticized for creating a narrow provider network that excludes 10 of the state’s 26 hospitals. But more companies are expected to sell plans next year, and Gilmour said her bill is no longer necessary.

“Because we’ve been proactive and there are other avenues to address this, I don’t think there is a need for this,” said Gilmour, D-Hollis.

Other pending bills would require insurance companies selling policies under the Affordable Care Act to negotiate with all willing health care providers and would require the state insurance commissioner to hold at least two public hearings on each plan proposed for sale through the new online markets created by the law.