Bill: S.1372/A.6193 -
An Act to amend the insurance law and the legislative law in relation
to creating the New York Health Benefit and Cost Commission.
The Employer Alliance
for Affordable Health Care
is a grassroots coalition of more than 2,300 employers and individuals
committed to keeping health care in New York affordable. S.1372/A.6193
seeks to establish a more rational approach to legislating health
insurance mandates by creating the New York Health Benefit and Cost
Commission that in part would provide the Legislature with cost/efficacy
studies for health insurance mandate proposals prior to legislative
consideration. We enthusiastically support its passage.
insurance continues to be a critical concern for businesses statewide,
especially for small business owners. Recent surveys sponsored by the
Business Council, NFIB and others have concurred that health care costs
are the leading concern for small business in New York. Contributing to
increased health insurance costs are state mandated services and
benefits. The burden of health insurance mandates falls predominately
on small businesses and the self-employed - because many large companies
can take advantage of moving to self-insurance and escape state benefit
requirements. How costly are mandates in New York? The Employer Alliance
released a landmark study in 2003, which concluded that mandated
benefits in New York cost every policyholder 12.2% of premium - or more
than $1,000 for a family policy. With health care costs rising well
above the rate of inflation the past four years, its no wonder that
maintaining health insurance costs has surpassed business taxes as a
small business’ leading concern.
need for this legislation is critical. Some employers have been
fortunate and can absorb these costs - but others are forced to either
pass these costs onto employees in the form of lower wages or higher
health insurance contributions. Unfortunately, still others are faced
with prospect of dropping health insurance altogether. For the more
than three million New Yorkers with no health care coverage - the
prospect of being able to find affordable coverage is growing more
remote. We believe that the first step to keeping coverage affordable is to pass mandate relief legislation.
This will ensure that any mandate passed in this state will not
undermine efforts being made to expand insurance coverage opportunities.
Health insurance mandate commissions
as envisioned under this legislation are not a new concept. Nearly 25
states including our immediate neighbors Pennsylvania, New Jersey,
Vermont and most recently Massachusetts require a cost/efficacy analysis
for health insurance mandate bills. The goal of S.1372/A.6193 is to
ensure that lawmakers have the information necessary to ascertain the
value of each mandate proposal and determine the appropriateness of
legislating such coverage. For businesses struggling to maintain
coverage, this proposal is long overdue.
Never has the need for this legislation been more critical. Vote YES on S.1372/A.6193.
Employer Alliance For Affordable Health Care
PO Box 1412
Albany, New York 12201-1412
Jeff Leland, Chairman