Allen Associates Health Insurance NH, Manchester Health Insurance Plans including Anthem, ACA, Obamacare, Group, Blue Cross, Medicare Supplements, Individual, Group Plans
  Serving the health insurance needs of New Hampshire               
  since 1976

  1340 Bodwell Rd., Manchester NH 03109
  Ph: 603-625-2266 or 800-323-0203

Allen Associates Health Insurance NH Manchester NH Health Insurance Anthem Broker, obama care

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Hometown brokers: Obamacare cuts us out
Local broker: People sent to websites instead of getting help they need.
By BILL SMITH    New Hampshire Union Leader

Technical glitches that have hampered the rollout of the first public phase of the nation's new health care law are not the only point
of entry to the new world of Obamacare medicine.

Policies can be bought from insurance brokers, but agents say the federal government seems intent on steering people to websites,
rather than encouraging them to go to the hometown agencies where they buy their life, home and auto insurance. "We're being totally
shut out of it publicly; I never hear a word;" said Richard Allen of Allen Associates of Manchester. "They never, ever say,
'Why don't you call your broker-agent who already takes care of your insurance and see if they can help you?"

The Affordable Care Act regulations allow brokers to sell health insurance plans available on the federal insurance exchange once they
have completed a certification course. Allen, who has been selling insurance since 1976, said he has completed the course.

Some of the differences between traditional health insurance and the choices under Obamacare mean a new relationship between individuals
and insurance companies.  "There's close to 80 choices when you go there and you've got the vendor side if you need a subsidy to help
pay for it, but you don't even know if you're eligible until you've already applied for it, which could take weeks," Allen said "We have access
to all of these rates and the subsidy information and can tell them what it will cost and what their choices are, based on their individual situation."

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Hampshire is the only Granite State insurer approved to offer policies on the health insurance exchanges
that opened Oct. 1.  The company says insurance brokers can be helpful in assisting the public to pick a plan and pay for it. "The role of the
broker will continue to be an important one as the Affordable Care Act is implemented in 2014," said Anthem spokesman Christopher Dugan
in an email response to a New Hampshire Union Leader inquiry. "We are pleased to work very closely with the broker community on a daily
basis and view them as essential partners going forward in helping consumers understand the new environment so that they can choose health
plans which best meet their individual needs."

Allen claims brokers who know their clients are able to help consumers make the right choices, rather than end up with something that's not
quite right as a result of surfing the government's websites.  "It's like the difference between you going to see your doctor or you going into an
empty room and there's a bunch of medical books and medical equipment on the floor and someone saying, 'Figure it out; you'll be able to
take care of yourself once you read these books and learn to use this equipment," Allen said.

In addition to pointing people to Anthem, brokers can direct customers to policies offered outside the exchange program, Allen said.

Allen Associates
1340 Bodwell Rd., Manchester NH 03109
Phone: 603-625-2266    Toll Free: 800-323-0203    Fax: 603-218-6588

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans of New Hampshire, Inc. Independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. 
ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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