Logo, The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care - Health Care Advocacy Group
(518) 462-2296
P.O. Box 1412
Albany, NY 12201


Capitol

New York's largest, single-issue grassroots business coalition


The New York State Legislature introduces more than 100 pieces of legislation that increase the cost of health insurance premiumsevery year. Whether the culprit is health insurance mandates or new fees, assessments and taxes, the small business community always pays more than a fair share – money that could be better used for employee retention or business growth to bolster the local economy.

The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care partnership of small business owners, sole proprietors, and business organizations, making it the largest, single-issue grassroots coalition in New York State. Our members share a common commitment to promoting the need for affordable health insurance. We partner with the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the New York State Farm Bureau and chambers of commerce throughout the state to remind Albany that  the cost and quality of our health insurance has a direct impact on their community.

Our coalition focuses on health insurance mandates because controlling this legislation will control the price of health insurance premiums.The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care was among the leaders in determining mandate costs, Our 2003 actuarial studt determined that the cost of funding New York’s existing health insurance mandate package had increased premiums by 12.2 percent. We can presume that after 14 years, without the benefit of a cost-analysis, today’s figure is closer to 20 percent. Alliance members have changed the mandate discussion by successfully lobbying Albany for a small business reimbursement for New York's mental health mandate.

New York’s leadership is taking us in the wrong direction.  According to the New York health Foundation, the state’s health care spending overall and per capita are among the highest in the nation The high cost of coverage is felt by both employers and their workers and has adverse effects on New York’s economic growth The problem is so severe for small businesses that in respondents of the NFIB Research Foundation’s quadrennial Small Business Problems and Priorities survey cited health insurance costs as a “critical issue.”

We can to help.

Throughout the year our members unite, sending emails and meeting with Legislators, raising awareness on the local impact the results from higher health insurance costs. Our advocacy efforts have helped deter harmful legislation and raise awareness about the full ramifications of higher health insurance costs.

We can’t do it alone.The nation’s healthcare system is in a state of flux with many of the changes that are beyond our control. Our members may be small, but they are now powerless.  Make a difference. Join The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care today.



2018 Premiums Outlook

By Larry Teal, Chair

                                                                                                                                                

Health insurance premiums will increase again next year.

Premiums for individuals will increase an average of 13.9 percent and small grouBy Larry Teal, ChairĀ p policies will increase, on average, 9.3 percent.  While the Department of Financial Service claims the problem could be worse, New York lawmakers could also make it better.

How much does health insurance cost?

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that the average cost of employer-based coverage in New York State was $6,614 for individuals and $19,375 for family coverage (based on 2016 data). The Commonwealth Fund Report titled State Trends in Premiums and Deductibles 2003-2011: Eroding Protections and Rising Costs Underscore the need for Action states “if annual premium growth slowed by one percentage point, by 2020 employers and families would save $2,029 annually for family coverage.” It’s a small step, but clearly in the right direction.

New York lawmakers could easily make this happen using obvious solutions at their disposal.The first obvious cost reducing measure is to refrain from passing laws that dictate the type of providers and services that must be included in the basic health insurance package. These are commonly known as health insurance mandates. Every mandate incrementally increases cost. New York required every state regulated policy to include nearly three dozen mandated benefits — in addition to those required under the Affordable Care Act’s “essential health benefit” package. It is doubtful that lawmakers will eliminate the state’s existing mandates, but they can certainly refrain from passing anything new.

Taxes, fees and assessments, required by the 20-year-old Health Care Reform Act (HCRA), cost taxpayers $5.5 billion each year, however, a portion of this money is funneled into programs that have little or nothing to do with direct patient care. Health insurance taxes should not be used to plug holes in the state budget. HCRA should be repealed or, at the very least, existing funds used for direct patient care.

Finally, the Legislature should address the underlying problem and keep health care costs in check. The Department of Financial Services reported this year that drug costs account for the largest share, or 26 percent, of all medical costs, with specialty drug costs increasing about 49 percent.Inpatient hospital costs account for the second biggest share of medical expenses (19 percent), followed by physician specialty services (12 percent) and diagnostic testing/lab/x-ray (10 percent). 

The federal health debate over health insurance reform continues and it remains unclear where it might go. In the meantime, it’s time for New York’s leadership to step up and make a difference.  Any change, even a small change, will help.

Why Single Payer is NOT the answer


New York can’t afford to create a single-payer system, but that does not stop lawmakers from presenting the notion time and time again. Most recently, Governor Andrew Cuomo signaled his support for universal health care on both the federal and state levels.

The notion of free coverage may sound appealing, but universal health care is phenomenally expensive.

  • Vermont rejected universal healthcare after financial projections were released showing that program costs, in the first year alone, would nearly double the size of the state’s budget and require large tax increases for residents and businesses. 
  • California’s projection of its single payer system would have also doubled the state budget at an estimated $400 billion.

Even conservative estimates supplied to the New York State Assembly acknowledge that creating a single-payer plan in New York would require a tax increase of $92 billion.  One can only question why the Governor of the most heavily taxed state in the nation would consider such a dramatic burden.

Rising health care costs should be addressed, but New Yorkers deserve better then pie in the sky notions. Small businesses deserve real cost saving solutions.

                                                                                                                        

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