MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION
Bills: S.6147/A.10970 ≠ An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to
mandated coverage of sperm banks.
The Employer Alliance
for Affordable Health Care, a
coalition of more than 2,000 New York employers 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 S.6147/A.10970 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
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 that exacerbate costs and
reduce coverage options for employers and employees alike.
many proposed mandates, covering sperm banking for males undergoing cancer
treatment that may render them sterile is a desirable goal. However, all mandates have costs and
the cost of this mandate will further impact premiums. According to internet
sources, cryopreserving 4 specimens (as required in the bill) cost more than
$1,050 with storage fees for each specimen approximating $75 annually ≠
totaling more than $1,350 in the first year alone. That amount represents 43% of the annual average individual
insurance premium in New York. This
benefit will clearly add to the more than 12% already being paid by health
insurance purchasers to cover New Yorkπs existing 33 mandated benefits.
the costs alone for this mandate are prohibitive, the Employer Alliance, objects to requiring coverage of a service that
will not save or prolong life expectancy of individuals. The question is simply
this: If the state were to ≥tax≤ small business to invest more money in health
care, where should the last dollar go?
Is levying a premium tax on small employers (i.e: mandates) to fund
sperm banks more important than providing insurance for some of the 3 million
New Yorkers with no coverage? How about expanding pharmaceutical coverage for
the elderly or the underinsured? Or perhaps in this economic environment should
we not tax small businesses at all?
New York lacks a coherent health policy to help guide lawmakers through these
difficult questions. The result is
health policy decision-making subsumed by politics that is ultimately detrimental
to the health of all New Yorkers.
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 several weeks both houses
may vote on additional mandates including wigs, mental health parity 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