By Associated Press - Saturday, April 25, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Consumers shopping for health insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law will have some new options for next year, according to the state insurance commissioner.

Insurance companies had until April 15 to submit their applications to the state for review. Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny said five companies applied to sell health plans through the online marketplace created by the overhaul law, along with four companies that plan to sell stand-alone dental plans.

Four of the health insurance companies are repeat players - Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Community Health Options and Minuteman Health. The fifth, Ambetter offered by Celtic Insurance, will be new. Two companies will be offering dental plans for the first time: Dentegra Insurance and Guardian Life. They will join Anthem and Delta Dental.

Anthem was the only company that offered health plans in New Hampshire during the first enrollment period, and it was criticized for its narrow provider network. For the second enrollment period, which ended Feb. 15, there were five companies, and each hospital was included in at least three provider networks.

New Hampshire opted not to set up its own online insurance marketplace under the overhaul law and is partnering with the federal government to educate consumers and manage the health plans being offered. Nearly 53,000 people in New Hampshire either signed up for health insurance or were automatically re-enrolled in their plans during the second enrollment period.

Sevigny said he is pleased that consumers will have just as many options, if not more, when purchasing plans for 2016. Enrollment begins Nov. 1.

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