The Assembly got it right in their one house budget bill by including a “premium wrap” for those people eligible for Family Health Plus to make a seamless transition into the new Health Insurance Exchange. The Assembly is also “authorizing” the Basic Health Plan – but we hear the Governor’s office isn’t going for EITHER in final budget negotiations.
We all must make calls TODAY!
First, urge the Governor and Department of Health to accept the Assembly’s changes to the phase out of Family Health Plus and help all those eligible pay for premiums on the new health insurance exchange come 2014. The Governor’s Executive budget got us started by helping those currently enrolled in Family Health Plus be able to make a seamless transition to the Exchange in 2014 – but left out all those at the same income levels who aren’t currently enrolled. They’ll need to enroll come 2014 and they should get the same deal! The Assembly budget got it right.
Tell the Governor & The Department of Health: Provide a “premium wrap” for the entire Family Health Plus eligible popultion, not just those currently enrolled.
The Governor’s office also does not want to move forward to even authorize the state to look into implementing a Basic Heath Plan to receive additional federal funding to help provide quality, affordable coverage for families and individuals who make less than 200% of poverty a year (that’s around $22,000 a year for an individual and $47,000 for a family of four). Why would we wait to create a program the Affordable Care Act sets up as a great way to help those who need it most!?! There is NO reason to wait.
Tell the Governor & the Department of Health: Include authorization for the Basic Health Plan in the final budget negotiations so ALL low income New Yorkers will have access to affordable health coverage.
Final budget deals will be made this weekend. We need ALL groups making these calls and sending off emails and letters TODAY!!!
- Governor Cuomo: (518) 474-8390
- Director of Healthcare Redesign James Introne: (518) 408-2500
- NYS Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson: (518) 474-3018
- Commissioner of Department of Health Dr. Nirav Shah: (518) 474-2011
Thank you for your very important actions today.
HCFANY is happy to report that our letter to Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature on the budget’s elimination of the Family Health Plus program and out-of-network benefits on the individual market has been delivered!
The letter was actually hand-delivered around the capitol early this afternoon, and sent out to the press shortly thereafter. Thanks to everyone who signed on – at final count we had 37 groups listed! You can view the final letter sent by clicking here.
It looks like the budget will be closing down this weekend, but there is still time to make phone calls! Call your legislators today and tell them to protect low-income families and New Yorkers with special health needs by providing a solution to the elimination of the Family Health Plus program that would treat all consumers equally, regardless of family composition, and provide additional subsidies to all eligible consumers up to 150% of FPL, and to preserve the requirement that insurers offer consumers on the individual market the option of out-of network care.
We can do this!!!
Governor Cuomo gave his annual State of the State address yesterday, and we at HCFANY were generally pleased to see the inclusion of the state’s health benefit Exchange in the Governor’s progressive agenda.
Much of the speech focused on the state’s economic revitalization, and we believe that a consumer-friendly Exchange will do much to further economic growth in New York. We know that the Exchange will lower health insurance costs significantly for consumers and small businesses, and that’s money in people’s pockets. The added preventive care benefits provided by the Affordable Care Act will also help to lower health care spending for our state in the long run.
The Governor also said he wanted to restore New York to its “rightful place as the progressive capital of the nation” and that the forthcoming health benefit Exchange will help make our state’s health care system the “finest in the nation.” We know that the Exchange will help more than one million uninsured New Yorkers afford health insurance coverage. HCFANY will be working hard this year to make sure that implementation of the Exchange is as consumer-friendly as possible so that it may indeed be the finest in the nation!
HCFANY issued a short statement on the Governor’s State of the State address, which you can read by clicking here.
A press release issued by Governor Cuomo’s office yesterday announced that New Yorkers will save over $500 million on health insurance premiums this year thanks to the Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) utilization of the State’s prior approval law. As you may remember, New York’s 2010 prior approval law allows DFS officials to review insurance rate increases before they go into effect and scale them back if they are too high.
Health insurers had requested overall increases averaging around 12.4%, which were then cut down to an average of 7.5% by DFS. Rate increases for small group plans will increase an average of 9.5%, down from the average 15.7% increase requested by the insurance plans. Prior to passage of the prior approval law, annual premium rate increases averaged 14%.
These modest increases stand out at a time when many states are experiencing double-digit increases in premiums. For example, an article in Saturday’s New York Times notes that states like Florida and Ohio have seen rates rise by as much as 20%, with similar rate increases proposed in California.
The Affordable Care Act requires states to review any proposed rate increases above 10%, however New York is one of 37 states which allows state officials to deny excessive rate increases (an issue that is explored further in the Times article).
So, thanks again to our Senate Democrats who really championed this issue back in 2010 and made savings like this possible today. We appreciate the work you do!!!
See below for a breakdown of the average requested rate increase and what the DFS ended up actually approving. For the full list of increases by insurance plans, see the Governor’s press release.
|Health Insurance Market Segment
of Members Affected
Requested Annual Rate Increase (Weighted Average)
Approved Annual Rate Increase (Weighted Average)
Reduction by DFS