MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION
Date: March 2010
Bill: A 6309-A (Johnson C, Thompson) / A 9787-A (Gunther)
Act to amend the insurance and public health law in relation health insurance coverage for prenatal vitamins.
The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care is a grassroots
coalition of more than 3,000 sole proprietors and small and medium-sized
business owners who represent more than 150,000 working New Yorkers.
Our members believe that everyone should have access to basic,
affordable health insurance. We oppose health insurance mandates that
increase premium costs and decrease accessibility of basic, affordable
health insurance. Bill A10450A seeks to require every health insurance
policy that includes prescription drug coverage to include the cost of
infant and baby formulas when prescribed by a physician as necessary for
certain medical conditions.
WE OPPOSE THIS LEGISLATION FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:
- Health insurance mandates such as this increase the policy cost for
people who fully insure which primarily impacts New York’s small
business community. The cumulative impact of New York’s mandated benefit
package currently stands at 14.2% of total premium costs, (Health
Insurance Mandates in NYS, Nova Rest Consulting, May 2003/ Report by the
Superintendent of Insurance On the Cost and Effectiveness of New York’s
2006 Mental Health Parity Legislation (“Timothy’s Law”), May 2009)
- Pharmaceutical costs are among the fastest rising component of
health care expenses and most packages already cover some type of
prenatal drug coverage. Forcing carriers to expand this type of coverage
to include prenatal vitamins will ultimately decrease consumer
accessibility by driving up the cost of prescription drug coverage.
- In 2007, New York enacted funding and implementing legislation
to create the Health Care Quality and Cost Containment Commission – a
body established to study the financial and medical impact of coverage
mandates prior to passage. To date this commission has yet to be seated
and operational. The consideration of this any new mandate proposals
should be prohibited until the commission is seated and operational.
For these reasons, the Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care asks you to oppose this legislation.
The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care is a
coalition of more than 3,400 employers and individuals from across New
York, representing more than 200,000 working New Yorkers, committed to
preserving quality affordable health care.