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Cuomo Unveils New York State Health Exchange Proposal

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New York state may establish a single, state-supervised health insurance exchange that will operate as a public benefit corporation, officials say.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D, has submitted a governor’s program bill calling for the state to have a single, public benefit corporation exchange. The public authority in charge of the exchange would have a 7-director board, with members having expertise in areas such as individual health care coverage, small employer health care coverage, health benefits administration, health care finance, public or private health care delivery systems, and purchasing health plan coverage, officials say.

The top insurance regulator, the health commissioner and the state Medicaid director would be ex officio members of the board.

The authority would have an 18-member advisory committee that would include members who would be responsible for representating the interests of health care consumers, small businesses, the medical community, and insurers. The Committee’s advice to the Board will reflect findings about regional variations regarding the availability of health insurance coverage and other issues deemed necessary by the Committee and the Board.

State Sen. James Seward, R-Oneonta, N.Y., chair of the Senate insurance committee, introduced an exchange bill June 8 that also calls for New York to set up one single-state, publicly owned exchange.

The Seward bill, S. 5652, would forbid the state from using general state funds to finance the exchange, and it would provide that the new New York Health Benefit Exchange public authority would not supersede the authority of the New York health commissioner or the New York Department of Financial Services superintendent.

New York is in the process of folding its insurance department into the financial services department.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) is supposed to set up a new health insurance exchange distribution system and a health insurance purchase subsidy tax credit program for individuals and small businesses in 2014.

States can let the federal government provide exchange services for their individuals and small groups or provide exchange services themselves. A state can set up one exchange or more than one exchange, or it can participate in a multi-state exchange program. A state also can choose to organize an exchange as a state government department, an independent authority or an independent nonprofit organization.

New York is getting $28 million in exchange program startup funding from the federal government, officials say.

Other health insurance exchange coverage from National Underwriter Life & Health:


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