Our latest scan of pending health insurance mandates identified 120 bills, an increase of 29, or almost one-third, since Mandate Watch was inaugurated in March 2017.
Health coverage gains under the Affordable Care Act were concentrated where they were needed most—among lower-income groups and in the five boroughs of New York City—recently released Census Bureau data show.
From 2014 to 2016, New York’s Medicaid program saw a surge in drug spending that Governor Andrew Cuomo blamed on “abusive” behavior by drug manufacturers. A new Empire Center issue brief shows that, after accounting for rebates, the surge was smaller than Cuomo described, and that it was mostly driven by enrollment growth. Overall, the report finds that price increases accounted for about one-fifth of the spending surge, while enrollment accounted for four-fifths.
Now that the state budget is put to bed for another year, here is a non-comprehensive rundown of health care-related highlights and lowlights.
The largest revenue-raiser in the just-completed state budget, worth $2 billion over four years, is not a tax or a fee or even a legal settlement. It takes the form of semi-voluntary “grants,” mostly to be squeezed out of a Catholic Church-affiliated health plan.
Governor Cuomo’s proposal to expropriate “excess” reserves from Medicaid managed care plans would apparently target just two insurers—Fidelis Care and MetroPlus—even though their reserve levels are not unusually high.
Fidelis Care, a Catholic Church-affiliated health plan, is the target of a second revenue-raising proposal from Governor Cuomo.
As Albany lawmakers consider imposing costly new taxes and mandates on health insurance, a report from the New York State Health Foundation offers a timely reminder: The state’s insurance premiums are already among the highest in the country, and rising fast.