Governor Cuomo: Health Insurance Premiums in New York State Will Fall By 50%
On Wednesday, July 17, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the Department of Financial Services (DFS) has approved health insurance plan rates for 17 insurers seeking to offer coverage through New York’s new Health Benefits Exchange. The Exchange, which will begin enrolling individuals in October for policies that will take effect in January, was established through a provision of the Affordable Care Act (federal healthcare reform). The approved 2014 rates for even the highest levels of coverage individual New Yorkers could purchase on the exchange represent on average a 53 percent reduction compared to last year’s direct-pay individual rates.
In addition, federal financial premium assistance will be available for individuals meeting certain income thresholds, which will lower costs even further for many consumers. What this all means is that New Yorkers who cannot obtain adequate health insurance through an employer will be able to purchase their own policies at a much lower cost than was previously possible. Furthermore, the Affordable Care Act prohibits insurers from excluding pre-existing conditions or imposing lifetime caps. Therefore, many families and individuals affected by chronic, high-cost conditions like hemophilia should be able to take advantage of these new policies as soon as they go into effect. Lower-cost plans and subsidies will also be available through the exchange for small businesses, allowing more businesses to provide health insurance for their employees.
The state will be establishing “navigators” who will be available on the phone, online, and in person to help consumers compare plans and make choices that best suit their needs. In addition, New York City Hemophilia Chapter will be working to make additional hemophilia-specific information and guidance available for community members who need it. Please check your emails and the NYCHC website (www.nyhemophilia.org) for this information as it becomes available.
To read the full press release about Governor Cuomo’s announcement, please visit: http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/07172013-health-benefit-exchange.
For more information about the New York Health Benefit Exchange, please visit: www.HealthBenefitExchange.ny.gov.
For a listing of the health insurance plan rates approved Wednesday by region, please visit: www.governor.ny.gov/assets/documents/Approved2014HealthInsuranceRates.pdf.