Logo, The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care - Health Care Advocacy Group


Date: June 16, 2010
Bill: S.7833-A (Foley) /A.11273-A (Lavine)

S.7833-A (Foley) /A.11273-A (Lavine) - Relates to youth drug and alcohol detoxification; authorizes approved applicant to petition family court for review of a youth for possible drug and alcohol detoxification; provides benefits for treatment of chemical dependency in certain health insurance plans including prohibition on out of pocket deductibles.

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.

In 2007 the State Legislature established the Health Care Quality and Cost Containment Commission, which is intended to provide an independent analysis of this and all health insurance mandates prior to approval. Health insurance mandates currently comprise 14.2% of private health insurance costs. Lawmakers must refrain from acting on any new coverage mandates until the Health Care Quality and Cost Containment Commission is seated and operational.

We oppose this legislation for the following reasons:

  • Private health insurance costs continue to rise at alarming rates. Even with federal healthcare reform, a new report predicts employer health care costs are expected to increase by 9% in 2011. (PricewaterhouseCoopers, Behind the Numbers, June 14, 2010) That same study showed that most of the American workforce is expected to have health insurance deductibles of $400 or more, with employees paying more to help offset these rising costs.
  • Already this year, State Legislators are considering many damaging proposals that will increase private health insurance premiums while leaving self-insured companies unscathed. The Governor’s budget proposal expands the scope of the Patient Services Assessment under HCRA, eliminates the small business subsidy for Timothy’s Law and shifts early intervention costs from county taxpayers onto private insurance. These actions will all have a direct impact on next year’s premiums.
  • The bill penalizes small businesses that purchase health insurance by eliminating all cost sharing by employees who use this court ordered treatment. That additional cost will be added to insurance premiums.
  • Even under the best of conditions, less than half (43.6%) of individuals seeking treatment for drug or alcohol abuse remained substance free over a six-month period. (National Institute of Drug Abuse) These numbers suggest that for adolescents being committed against their will, the rate of relapse will be substantially higher, leading to repeated court ordered treatment and further increased insurance costs. .
  • The bill also gives a “free ride” to the uninsured and self-insured that would not be governed by state- regulated commercial insurance laws such as this. Instead, when the uninsured or self-insured seek a court order for their child’s detoxification, state taxpayers will be forced to pay the state and county cost for the child’s involuntary detoxification and treatment. New York State should not punish responsible small businesses that have purchased health insurance by cost shifting the court ordered care to them. If the uninsured and self insured are held harmless from these costs, so should small business
For these reasons, the Employer Alliance 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.

Employer Alliance For Affordable Health Care
PO Box 1412
Albany, New York 2201-1412