MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION
Bill: A.3713/S.3477 ≠ An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to
coverage for the purchase of cranial prosthesis (wigs).
The Employer Alliance
for Affordable Health Care, a
coalition of nearly 2,100 New York employers and premium payers committed to
keeping health care in New York affordable, supports a moratorium on all health
insurance mandates. The high cost
of health care in New York continues to climb at two to three times the rate of
inflation. Accordingly, the Employer Alliance opposes A.3713/S.3477 because it will further
increase the cost of health insurance at a time when the rate of New Yorkπs
employer-based health insurance continues to erode.
The impact of increasing
health care costs in New York is evident in the stateπs stubbornly high rate of
uninsured. According to the United
Hospital Fund, of the more than 3 million New Yorkers with no insurance, 63% work
full-time. This suggests that health insurance
affordability is at the root of New Yorkπs stubbornly high rate of
uninsured. New York is facing a
crisis that demands legislative initiatives to enhance access to insurance ≠
not more mandates like A.3713/S.3477 that exacerbate costs and reduce coverage
options for employers and employees alike.
contribute to the high cost of health care in New York State. According to a study by NovaRest
Consultants (2003), health insurance mandates in New York account for more than
12% of premium ≠ more than $1,000
on a family policy. Like all
mandates A.3713/S.3477 has costs that will further increase premiums.
mandates come with compelling stories that evoke tremendous sympathy. This legislation is no exception. However, asking premium payers to
underwrite the costs of purchasing wigs is poor public policy. There is no medical guideline in the treatment of any disease that
suggests such a purchase will enhance the medical outcome of the patient. Asking employers, in these difficult
times, to absorb the additional
costs associated with a benefit that will not save a single life is
New York has more than 100 mandated benefit bills under consideration. However, unlike nearly 25 other states,
we have no process to evaluate these proposals for cost or medical efficacy. Over the next few days and weeks, both
houses may vote on additional mandates including mental health parity, child
abuse investigations and early intervention. Cumulatively, if enacted, these bills could account for hundreds
of millions in additional premiums annually. For premium payers
already suffering from 10%-20% increases in premium this year, passage of any
measure that exacerbates this trend is unconscionable. We cannot afford this mandate or any
other mandate this year.
all these reasons, the Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care urges
you to vote NO on this legislation.
Employer Alliance For Affordable Health Care
PO Box 1412
Albany, New York 12201-1412
Scott Miller, Chairman