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Insurance Dept. plans health insurance public hearing

Rochester Business Journal
May 11, 2011

The state Department of Insurance plans to hold a health insurance exchange public hearing in Rochester May 19.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires states to set up markets where individuals and small businesses can shop for health coverage among various carriers.  

The act sets minimum coverage, maximum out-of-pocket cost levels for plans sold through exchanges and specifies controls to be exercised over exchange plans. Details left up to individual states include whether exchanges are government agencies or private non-profits and whether abortion coverage is included or excluded from exchange plans.

Health Care for All New York, a New York City-based coalition whose members include the American Cancer Society and the Children’s Defense Fund, on Tuesday released a statement urging the Legislature to immediately pass a health insurance exchange law.

With passage of such legislation, New York could apply for a five-year federal grant to help fund an exchange, but it is not clear whether the Legislature will act on an insurance exchange law before its current session’s June 20 close.

Though the deadline for establishing the insurance markets is 2014, advocates including HCFANY are urging immediate passage of a bill because some fear that House Republicans opposed to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act could succeed in efforts to claw back funds earmarked for insurance exchange grants.   

The Insurance Department hearing is to be held next Thursday at Monroe Community College’s Brighton campus in the Building 4 Theater. The session is slated to run 2 to 5:30 p.m. 

Attendees are asked to preregister online at www.HealthCareReform.ny.gov and to separately email their planned remarks to HealthCareReform@exec.ny.gov. Remarks should be sent in a Word document and the email should include the forum city and date in the subject line. 

Speakers also are asked to bring five written copies of their testimony to the hearing. Each speaker is to be allotted five minutes.      
           
(c) 2011 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail
service@rbj.net.
 


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