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

MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION

Bill:     A.943 -Tokasz/S.1846 - Farley ≠ An act to amend the Insurance Law, in relation to providing coverage for hospice care under the Healthy New York program.

The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care, a coalition of nearly 2,300 New York employers committed to keeping health insurance in New York affordable, supports a moratorium on all health mandates. Mandates increase the cost of premiums and in turn the number of uninsured. This proposal seeks to add coverage of hospice services to the Healthy New York benefit package. We oppose this measure as being contrary to the intent of this laudable subsidy program.

The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care is an enthusiastic supporter of the Healthy New York. The goal of the program is to establish a product that is more affordable by utilizing aggressive stop-loss subsidies in tandem with an elimination of certain mandated benefits. Providing employers greater choice in benefit package is critical to keeping people insured. Unfortunately, because New York has more than 30 mandated benefits - even a "stripped down" policy in New York includes a wide range of mandated benefits that in the aggregate cost more than $1,000 per employee (family coverage) annually. Changes in 2004 to address some of the shortcomings of the program designed to lower eligibility requirements, increase the stop-loss subsidy and reduce prescription benefit has triggered a significant increase in enrollment.

Mandating a new benefit to the Health New York package - no matter how suitable - is counter to the intent of this program and will vitiate this worthwhile experiment. Instead of advocating for this legislation, the Employer Alliance urges legislators to eliminate other mandated benefits on commercial products to further help reduce the cost and expand access.

We urge you to vote NO on A.943/S.1846.   

Employer Alliance For Affordable Health Care

PO Box 1412

Albany, New York 12201-1412

(518) 462-2296

employeralliance@yahoo.com

www.employeralliance.com

Scott Miller, Chairman

2/2005