Long Island Follows Bumpy New York Road to National Health Reform

Media Advisory
Sept. 12, 2013

Alwyn Cassil (202) 264-3484 or acassil@hschange.org

WASHINGTON , DC—Despite an extensive Medicaid program and previous adoption of many insurance market reforms, partisan gridlock has contributed to a rocky road to national health reform for New York and the Long Island metropolitan area, according to a new Community Report released today by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and based on interviews with local health care leaders in 2012-13, the study examined the Long Island region’s commercial and Medicaid insurance markets.

Once the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law in March 2010, there was little doubt that New York would embrace reform. Yet, partisan gridlock in Albany has made for a rough road to health reform for New York. After many months of wrangling with the state Legislature, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) resorted to authorizing the state health exchange by executive order in 2012, giving New York’s exchange a later start than many states.

Another threat to successful implementation is the state’s commitment to stringent insurance regulations that exceed ACA requirements, most notably in small-group and nongroup community rating. Despite recently approved 2014 premiums that were lower than expected, it remains uncertain how sustainable these rates will be over time and whether they will remain sufficiently low to attract and retain a sizable pool of younger, healthier enrollees. Key findings of the report, Long Island Follows Bumpy New York Road to National Health Reform, which is available here, include:

As health reform unfolds in the coming years, there will be ongoing issues to track in the Long Island-area health care market, including:

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The Center for Studying Health System Change is a nonpartisan policy research organization committed to providing objective and timely research on the nation's changing health system to help inform policy makers and contribute to better health care policy. HSC, based in Washington, D.C., is affiliated with Mathematica Policy Research.