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!!!
For anyone not on HCFANY’s email list – we will be holding an emergency coalition call TODAY at 3 PM to discuss ACA implementation in the NYS budget. Several key issues for health insurance consumers are on the table. How they are resolved will determine the success of the ACA in New York, and whether people will be better or worse off in the future.712-432-0080 Access code: 178-816#
- Welcome & Review of current HCFANY Priorities & Politics – Jess Wisneski, Citizen Action of New York
- Breakdown of our budget priorities:
- Family Health Plus – Elisabeth R. Benjamin, Community Service Society of NY
- Health Insurance changes – Heidi Siegfried, New Yorkers for Accessible Health Coverage
- Good News: Charity Care & Community Health Advocates Funding Stream – Carrie Tracey, Community Service Society of NY
- Action Item 1: Organizational Sign On letter. Read the letter and sign your group on HERE.
- Action Item 2: Press Event Wednesday 11:00AM – LCA Press room, Legislative Office Building, Albany – followed by last minute advocacy at the Capitol. Who can join us?
- Action Item 3: Make calls to important leaders:
- Assembly: Call Health Chair Richard Gottfried: 518-455-4941
- Assembly: Call Insurance Chair Kevin Cahill: 518-455-4436
- Senate: Call Health Chair Kemp Hannon: 518-455-2200
- Senate: Call Insurance Chair James Seward: 518-455-3131
- Senate: Call IDC Leader Jeff Klein: 518-455-3595
- Senate: Call IDC Member Diane Savino: 518-455-2437
- Executive: Director of Health Care Redesign: James Introne: 518-408-2500
6. Post-Budget Preview & Close: Public Education/Outreach work – Jess Wisneski, Citizen Action of NY
As mentioned in the update to yesterday’s post, the proposed budget released yesterday included a new provision to establish a New York health insurance exchange (or “Health Benefit Exchange”). This was included in the Health and Mental Hygiene Article VII bill.
The proposed language in this new iteration of the bill looks in many ways very similar to the negotiated bill that passed in the Assembly last year. There are a couple of small changes though. With relation to the governing board, the timelines have been changed somewhat. And, the timelines for reports on the various studies that were included in last year’s version have also been shifted around a bit.
Lastly, there’s a new provision that says that the exchange can also rely on information from other outside studies (if they are determined to be reliable) instead of conducting any of the listed studies. Now, that is interesting, though it’s not clear yet how much this will factor in.
So, there you have it. Basically it’s a new version of last year’s bill. Let’s cross our fingers that this one actually passes!