A Basic Health Plan for New York? Yes, please!

Posted June, 30 2011 by arianne

One of the lesser-known provisions of the Affordable Care Act is the opportunity for states to establish what’s called a “Basic Health Plan” (BHP)  for families with incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (i.e. around $36,000 a year for a family of three).  To do so, the federal government will provide significant funding to states.

This program would provide an affordable bridge between public coverage through Medicaid and Family Health Plus and private coverage on the Exchange, easing the transition for families who may undergo modest increases in income.  The program would offer health coverage at a level comprable or better than what will be available for purchase on the Exchange, but at a lower price.

HCFANY member org.  Community Service Society (CSS),  just released a report with the New York State Health Foundation that looks at the BHP option in the context of New York.  Specifically, it focuses on who would be eligible for the program, who would join, how much money the federal government would provide the state with for the program versus how much the program would cost the state to run, what the program might look like, and what the net impact would be – both on state finances and on the rest of the insurance market.

 In a nutshell,  CSS found that by pursuing a BHP, the state could provide coverage to an estimated 467,000 New Yorkers AND save roughly $511 million in state cost offsets.  Not too shabby!

Click here to read CSS’s report, titled: “Covering More New Yorkers While Easing the State’s Budget Burden” (WARNING: This is not exactly light, summer beach reading, but worthwhile nonetheless)