New York’s Obamacare program reached a new high, with more than 4.3 million people signing up for healthcare coverage, state officials announced Thursday.

The 2018 totals marked an increase of about 700,000 people from a year ago, officials said. The 2018 enrollment period ended on Jan. 31.

“Covering 4.3 million New Yorkers is truly a historic milestone,” said Donna Frescatore, executive director of the NY State of Health marketplace.

Of those using the Obamacare marketplace, 2.97 million used the site to enroll in Medicaid and 738,851 used it to sign up for the Essential Plan – a state-run and federally funded coverage plan for people making up to twice the federal poverty level.

Another 374,577 enrolled in Child Health Plus and 253,102 obtained private insurance, up from 242,880 a year ago.

Bill Hammond, director of health policy for the Empire Center, said the increase in private insurance sign-ups came despite a 14% increase in the average premium.

“It tells me that people are still interested in having insurance even if they are paying a lot of money for it,” Hammond said.

Hammond also warned that the growth in Essential Plan enrollment – up nearly 74,000 from a year ago – could spell trouble for the state because the Trump administration has indicated that it will no longer fund such plans.

“The state may have to absorb more of the cost,” Hammond said.

Gov. Cuomo and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced last week that New York and Minnesota were filing lawsuits challenging the President’s decision last fall to cut off the more than $1 billion that supported state-run health insurance programs.

Cuomo has signaled that the state will continue its Obamacare programs regardless of the federal actions.

You may also like

Editorial: Cuomo’s problematic Medicaid maneuvers

“It’s everything that’s wrong with Albany in one ugly deal,” Bill Hammond, a health policy expert at the fiscally conservative Empire Center, told The Times. Read More

More New Yorkers covered by health insurance: report

An analysis by Bill Hammond of The Empire Center for Public Policy said the continued drop bolsters the case against the Albany Legislature passing a new law imposing a state government-run health insurance, which Democratic candidates for president are pushing for on a national level. Read More

What Cuomo’s executive order on vaping will and won’t do

“If you have these really young kids and teens getting hooked, then that’s not good," said Bill Hammond, director of health policy at the Empire Center for Public Policy. "But the first step would be to do some research, have a public hearing, get the best expert evidence that you have. Instead of reacting to headlines, find out what’s really going on and proceed with proposed regulations.” Read More

Medicaid bungle cost state $102 million over 4 years

“A little series of mistakes in a program this big can add up to a lot of money in a hurry,” Hammond told The Post. “A quarter of a million dollars is a lot of money. It’s important that the auditors are looking at this and are pointing to things that could be fixed.” Read More

New York City Hopes to Ease Strain on Its Emergency Rooms

Another hurdle is whether the new program can live up to the idea of universal health care, said Bill Hammond, a health-care analyst at the Empire Center, a conservative-leaning New York think tank. New Yorkers already had universal access, he said; the problem is how it is used. Health officials are rightly “trying to fix the delivery system,” said Mr. Hammond; meanwhile, the mayor, “made it sound like they’re fixing the coverage system.” Read More

Watchdog Group Questions New York’s Delayed Medicaid Payment

The Empire Center’s Bill Hammond says Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget office quietly postponed a $1.7 billion dollar Medicaid payment in late March by three business days and made the payment instead in early April. That’s significant because the state’s fiscal year ended March 31 and a new one began April 1. If the payment were made in March, the state would have been over a statutory cap that limits growth of Medicaid spending to 3% last year. Read More

Universal Health Care For New Yorkers? Not Exactly

De Blasio’s claim was “very misleading,” said Bill Hammond, the health policy director at the Empire Center for Public Policy, a nonpartisan, New York-focused think tank. Voters might think he is referring to universal insurance or even a single-payer system, he said, neither of which is true. Read More

Why New York’s hospitals do terrible in federal rankings

In 2016, the Empire Center for Public Policy, a right-leaning think tank, found that New York had the lowest average score of any state, a paltry 2.26. Only the District of Columbia and certain U.S. territories were lower. Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100
Fax: 518-434-3130
E-Mail: info@empirecenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.