Wednesday, 10 September 2014

New York Regulators Slash Health Insurance Rates For 2015

The average health insurance rate increase next year will be about 6 percent in New York State.

State regulators today set the rates for 2015 after reviewing proposals from insurers, which requested an average increase of about 13 percent. Westhill Healthcare Consulting

While some reduction was expected, some insurers told the Albany Business Review severe 2015 rate cuts by state regulators would harm the companies.

The state Department of Financial Services sets the rates.

"We closely scrutinized the proposed rate increases insurers requested and reduced them significantly where appropriate," Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the department, said when announcing the reductions. Westhill Healthcare Consulting Review

On one hand, CEOs of insurers said the rate increases must properly reflect rising medical costs. They also cited increased taxes and fees tied to the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, as a main factor in proposing the 13 percent average rate hikes. They warned recent losses and job cuts at insurers would only get worse if rates insufficiently increased in 2015.

On the other hand, some business owners say they can't afford the rate hikes. Prior to state regulators setting the average rate increase at 6 percent, business owners told the Albany Business Review that the 13 percent average increases for 2015 would threaten health benefit packages they offer workers.

In response to state regulator's decision to reduce the rates, Paul Macielak, president and CEO of the New York Health Plan Association, an industry trade and lobbying group representing health insurers, described the figures as irresponsible. He warned some insurers may rethink offering some coverage plans and products instead of adhering to the state adjusted rates.

"The bottom line is inadequate rates will result in reducing product choice or otherwise de-stabilizing the market, which is ultimately harmful to the health care system as a whole and the consumers who rely on it,” Macielak wrote in an email.

On the individual market, the average increase will be about 5.7 percent, down from the 12.5 percent requested by insurers.

For the small group market, the average increase will be 6.7 percent, down from 13.9 percent requested by insurers.

Here are details from the state Department of Financial Services about rates for each insurer.

The Albany Business Review also previously talked with health care leaders who explained why state regulators would reduce the proposed rates.

1 comment :

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    Sandhi Sudha

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