The Urban Institute released a new report today, which examines the implications of a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through a process known as budget reconciliation. According the report’s findings, more than 1.1 million New Yorkers would become uninsured by 2019 under a partial repeal of the ACA.
New York State also stands to lose substantial funding from the federal government:
- The Urban Institute estimates that New York would lose more than $10 billion by 2028 in premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, which help make health insurance more affordable for individuals and families.
- The Urban Institute also estimates that New York would lose approximately $47 billion by 2028 in funding for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
- Although not included in the study, New York would also lose funding for its Basic Health Plan, branded the Essential Plan, which currently insures nearly 600,000 people.
Nationally, the number of uninsured is estimated to increase by 103 percent or 29.8 million people by 2019 under partial repeal. It is also estimated that there would be 12.9 million fewer people with Medicaid and CHIP coverage in 2019.
If you or someone you know would be affected by any of these issues, please share your story.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 20 million Americans have enrolled in health insurance, and the uninsured rate has sunk to the lowest level on record. In New York, our ACA marketplace, the New York State of Health, has enrolled more than 2.8 million New Yorkers into high quality affordable coverage. New York’s uninsurance rate was cut in half between 2013 and 2015.
The ACA provides free coverage or subsidized coverage to the vast majority of New Yorkers obtaining coverage on the NY State of Health marketplace. The new Essential Plan provides free or low-cost coverage to almost 600,000 New Yorkers. The ACA also makes insurance work better for consumers. The extensive list of consumer protections it offers includes: preventive care with no cost-sharing; an end to lifetime and annual limits; a prohibition on discrimination in health care; and no more denials or delays of coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
HCFANY knows that many consumers woke up this morning worrying about whether they will lose the coverage they count on because of threats to repeal the ACA.
HCFANY calls on our elected leaders to assuage their fears and act as soon as practicable to maintain the advances in coverage that New Yorkers have received since the ACA was enacted. New York has always been a leader on health coverage issues. We look to the leadership of New York State to continue to find ways to provide quality, affordable coverage for all New Yorkers.
Today, November 1, is the first day of open enrollment on the NY State of Health (NYSOH) Marketplace. New Yorkers can now enroll in coverage for the first time or renew their coverage by visiting NYSOH here. Since the first open enrollment period in 2013, more than 2.8 million New Yorkers have signed up for health insurance through the Marketplace. We can continue to make progress by making sure more New Yorkers get enrolled and that those who are covered maintain their coverage.
The New York Times even published a fun graphic to help consumers choose an appropriate Marketplace or employer-sponsored health insurance plan. There are also even more options to make this process easier with Navigators who can provide in-person enrollment assistance.
A few important dates for new enrollees:
- The Fourth Open Enrollment Period begins today November 1, 2016, and continues through January 31, 2017.
- To get coverage that begins January 1, 2017 you must enroll by December 15, 2016.
- For coverage starting February 1, 2017 you must enroll between December 16, 2016 and January 15, 2017.
- For coverage starting March 1, 2017 you must enroll between January 16, 2017 and January 31, 2017.
For returning consumers, the re-certification period begins on November 15, 2016:
- To make sure you do not have a gap in coverage, you must renew your coverage between November 15, 2016 and December 15, 2016 for coverage that begins on January 1, 2017.
- If you miss the re-certification deadline, you will be uninsured for a certain period of time.
The New York State Department of Financial Services is holding a hearing on September 8 to learn more about how New York could be affected by a merger between Anthem and Cigna. Any interested person can submit comments in writing, or even better, attend a hearing on the issue this Thursday in downtown Manhattan. The hearing starts at 10:00AM, on the 6th floor at 1 State Street.
HCFANY has expressed concerns about this merger before, and will do so again on Thursday. The hearing is completely open to the public (you can review the public notice here). Anyone can testify by signing up in advance (just email email@example.com, and put “ANTHEM-CIGNA 2016 HEARING” in the subject line). HCFANY’s testimony recommends that DFS reject the merger, for the following reasons:
- The Anthem-Cigna merger will reduce competition in New York State.
- Competition produces better services at lower costs, even in the complicated world of health insurance.
- Remedies or conditions used by regulators in past health insurance mergers have failed to truly protect consumers.
You can read our talking points here for help in crafting your testimony, but the important thing is to tell your own story – DFS wants to hear from you! HCFANY believes this merger will make issues like customer service and affordability even more difficult for New Yorkers, and we think New Yorkers should let DFS know how those problems are affecting them. Even if you do not want to speak in public about the merger, it is important for consumers to attend the hearing – it shows DFS that we care about this issue. If you cannot attend, you can also submit written testimony up until September 15.