News from Albany

Feds give conditional approval to New York exchange Uninsured New Yorkers and small businesses can expect to begin applying for insurance through a New York exchange in October 2013. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services gave a conditional “go-ahead” to the state to operate its own health insurance exchange. The conditional approval was granted based on progress the state has already demonstrated and the expectation that it will be ready for 2014. New York is one of the first states in the nation to receive conditional approval from HHS for a state-based online marketplace. New York officials expect approximately a million people will receive health insurance through the exchange. If this occurs, it could reduce the percentage of New Yorkers without health insurance from 16 percent to 10 percent. Traditionally upstate New York’s uninsured rate has been lower than the state average.

The next step is for the exchange to invite health plans to apply to participate. Customer service and marketing programs will launch in June and July to prepare for enrollment effective January 2014. New York has received more than $183 million in federal grants to help plan the exchange. The Department of Health recently submitted an application for another $190 million to fund the exchange through 2014. The Department expects the costs of running the exchange to be $100 million per year after 2015.

For the conditional approval letter: http://healthbenefitexchange.ny.gov/sites/default/files/12-14-12%20Conditional%20Approvel%20Letter.pdf

For a blueprint of the exchange: http://www.healthbenefitexchange.ny.gov/resource/blueprint-application http://healthbenefitexchange.ny.gov/

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