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New York Quantifies Effect of Federal Health Law Changes

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Federal health insurance changes may have played a significant role in increasing health insurance costs in New York state, according to a chart compiled by state regulators.

Five of the 6 plans that most recently went through the New New Yorkrate prior approval process told regulators how much they think the Affordable Care Act – federal legislative package that includes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA – affected their premium requirements.

The rate review results chart gives rate increase information for those 6 plans and 7 others.

The parents of all 13 plans asked for rate increases averaging 19.1%, and New York regulators approved increases averaging 12.8%.

Carriers could also ask for an extra increase to help compensate for the effects of PPACA and other new federal health laws.

At the5 companies that asked for a “federal health reform impact” adjustment, the requested adjustments ranged from

1.7 percentage points to 3.9 percentage points, with the average adjustment being 3 percentage points. The 3-percentage-point adjustment accounted for about 19% of the 15.8% average increase those plans will be implementing.

Group Health Inc. (GHI), a unit of EmblemHealth Inc., New York, asked for a 25.2% increase for a small group program that has 135,000 enrollees and received a 16.4% increase. The state then let GHI tack on a 3.9-percentage-point health reform adjustment, bringing the total increase to more than 20%.

In a narrative explanation accompanying a different but similar GHI rate increase application, EmblemHealth said the cost of implementing PPACA contributed 4 percentage points of the requested rate increase.

The elimination of a state mental health subsidy added 1 percentage point to the total, the company says.