Now that the Senate Exchange bill is officially out, HCFANY has put together its own analysis of the bill. And, while we wholeheartedly agree that New York needs Exchange legislation yesterday, it is clear that the Senate bill is not the bill that New Yorkers had been hoping for.
Specifically, the concept of a health insurance Exchange brings with it opportunities to secure greater health plan quality, stronger consumer protections, wider provider networks, better benefits, and lower costs. However, this can be achieved only if the Exchange is granted the power needed to perform these functions.
The Senate bill is notably weak in this respect and appears to curb the Exchange’s potential to reform the health insurance market or to ensure that consumers are getting the best value for their money when they purchase a health plan. In fact, the bill actually prohibits the Exchange from regulating insurers at all.
This is not exactly music to the ears of the millions of New Yorkers who currently can’t afford to pay insurance premiums on today’s market.
But, this is just one of the bills out there and it remains to be seen what else will come out of Albany in the next week or so…