Health Insurance Rates For Individuals In NY To Increase

New Yorkers who sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act exchanges for individuals will see their premiums rise by an average of 14 percent, now that the Cuomo administration has approved rate increases for insurers in the exchanges. Part of the increase is due to worries and uncertainties over the future of the ACA, also known as Obamacare. The state’s Department of Financial Services approved the average rate increases of 13.9 percent for about 350,000 New Yorkers in the individual insurance market, and 3.9 percent for about 1 million enrolled in small group plans. The individual plan increases range from a high of 31.5 percent for Health Now New York, offered by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, to a low of 4.4 percent for Excellus in the Rochester area and in central New York. Don Ingalls, a vice president with BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and BlueShield of Northeastern New York, said the increase reflects uncertainties over the future of the ACA, as well as the fact that costs are rising, including for doctors, pharmaceuticals and hospital stays.

Effects Of ACA Repeal Could Be Dire For NY

The future of the Affordable Care Act is uncertain in Washington, and there are several scenarios under consideration.   The latest possible changes could impact New York’s relatively healthy health care system. The good news is that the Affordable Care Act in New York is doing quite well, according to state officials. The health insurance exchanges are functioning, with 17 carriers offering plans in 2017. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, at a recent rally to preserve the ACA, said New York has built “one of the best health care exchanges in the country.”


Cuomo Calls Fight For Health Care A Class Struggle

ALBANY (WSKG) – At an event Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo defined the conflict over changing the health care laws in Washington as a class struggle, saying it’s all about the rich versus the rest.  Cuomo did not mention President Donald Trump by name, but he said the nation’s health care is in crisis and the struggle is really about those with lots of money, and those with lesser means. “Make no mistake. The rich are always going to have the best health care system in the world,” Cuomo said. “What they’re trying to decide is what’s the health care for the rest of us.” Cuomo says Republicans who lead Congress don’t want to subsidize health care so that the middle class, working class and the poor can also have access to good quality care. The Congressional Budget Office says plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, will leave 22 million Americans without health insurance, and around 2 million in New York — including seniors, veterans and the disabled.


PA Senator Defends ACA Replacement In Town Hall

HARRISBURG (WSKG) — US Senator Pat Toomey’s live TV town hall got off to a raucous start Wednesday, with advocacy groups from across the state turning out to a Harrisburg TV studio to criticize the Republican for his support of the Senate GOP’s Affordable Care Act replacement bill.  Inside the studio, Toomey spent much of the hour-long event defending the bill, which he helped author. One of the biggest changes enacted under the Better Care Reconciliation Act would be states shouldering a greater burden of Medicaid costs–particularly for people who have been getting coverage under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act expansion. A number of governors from both parties–including Pennsylvania’s Tom Wolf, a Democrat–have come out against the plan for that reason: they say states can’t shoulder the cost. Toomey’s response? Neither can the federal government.


Supporters Push Single-Payer Health Care In New York

    Faith leaders from around New York came to the Capitol to gain support in the state Senate to adopt a statewide single-payer health care system.  It would be an alternative to the national Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which Republicans in Congress and President Donald Trump have been trying to dismantle. A New York-based single-payer health care program has been approved numerous times in the state Assembly. Assemblyman Phil Steck, who represents portions of Albany and Schenectady and is one of the bill’s most staunch supporters, said it would simply build on the existing Medicare system for Americans 65 and older. “This bill just extends that system to the entire population,” Steck said when the bill was passed in the Assembly on May 16. The idea seems straightforward, but supporters say they know there would be challenges to implementing a statewide single-payer plan.


The GOP Health Care Bill And New York’s Essential Plan

    With the House of Representatives passing a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, New York’s “Essential Plan” may be at risk. Bill Hammond, Health Policy Director at the think tank the Empire Center, joined WSKG’s Bret Jaspers to explain. Interview highlights: On what the Essential Plan actually is: Bill Hammond: It’s a very low-cost health plan. Totally funded by the government. It was an optional benefit under the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare …

Ithaca Detox Center To Open In One Year…Hopefully

When people in Tompkins County need help with withdrawal symptoms, they have to go elsewhere. They often go to Syracuse or Binghamton. In 2015, 220 people left the county for detox help. But leaving the county isn’t necessarily what a patient wants, according to Angela Sullivan of the Alcohol and Drug Council of Tompkins County. “The need is absolutely there.


How Does New York’s New Prescription Drug Spending Cap Work?

New York has a new plan to control the prices of prescription drugs under its Medicaid program. Medicaid is a government-funded health insurance plan for people who elderly, disabled, children or poor adults. New York generally covers the cost of drugs under Medicaid, but prices have been rising, lately.  “There really has been, in recent years, a number of pretty egregious examples of manufacturers attempting to generate windfall profits out of really high drug prices,” said Jason Helgerson, New York’s Medicaid Director. “We really, sort of, struggled, along with states all across the country, to try to reign in some of those bad practices.” New York already limits how much it spends for all services under Medicaid.