Posts Tagged - ‘new york health insurance’

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Is Your Health Insurance Plan Being Dropped?

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Image: TheAlias under CC 3.0

If you’re insured through Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield or MVP Health Care, you may be caught in the middle of their shrinking their product lines. Like any business, they want to eliminate unpopular products–but is this an end run around a new New York health insurance law that forbids insurers from dropping entire products as a sneaky way of canceling the coverage of people with serious pre-existing conditions and high medical claims?

The insurers defend their actions as normal business practice, adding that a relatively small percentage of customers use the plans slated to be eliminated. Just 605 policyholders will be affected, most of them either group health insurance plans based on a company’s claim history or community-rated individual health insurance priced with a large pool. Those whose health insurance plan will be discontinued will be offered an alternative, though it remains to be seen if the terms are as appealing.

Excellus plans slated to be canceled will expire on January 1st, while MVP plans (which have rolling enrollment schedules) will be discontinued on October 1st or November 1st, depending on the product. The state’s Ian’s Law will take effect early next year.

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New York Cuts Health Insurance Funding

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Image: Vikram Vetrivel under CC 3.0

Economic programs have forced states to make painful cuts in their programs. Now, it’s New York’s turn. Governor David Paterson is one step closer to signing an emergency spending bill that severely cuts health care and health insurance spending.

By spending less on hospitals and other health-related ventures, the state also gives up some matching federal subsidies. The $775 million in cuts includes the elimination of a prescription drug program and millions in reduced funding for health care for the poor.

On a positive note for consumers, the bill also reinstates prior approval of insurers’ rate increases. That will make private coverage more affordable, saving the state $70 million that would be otherwise spent providing government-sponsored coverage for those people. New York health insurance rates are some of the highest in the nation.

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Student Health Insurance Investigation Finds Problems

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Image: m00by under CC 3.0

After an investigation, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo believes that many providers of student health insurance are offering inferior coverage for higher rates. In effect, they receive far more in premiums than they pay out in claims.

College students have been a boon to health insurance companies: the typical student is their perfect customer–the young, healthy adult with no pre-existing conditions. Their policies are profitable, and help pay for other policyholders’ claims. Over half of America’s universities require their students to have health coverage for safety reasons, but some are able to negotiate better deals from insurers than others.

The issue is that there aren’t many of those sicker patients in the student pools, so the more expensive premiums are largely moot. Since students are looking for affordable health insurance, many colleges keep costs down by providing very little in benefits (despite state regulations meant to prevent that). Many plans don’t cover injuries sustained while intoxicated, an issue for many in this environment.

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Don’t Put Your Girlfriend On Your Family Health Insurance!

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

(Image: Tambako the Jaguar under CC 2.0)

Family health insurance is often an affordable way to make sure your loved ones remain in good health. However, you have to make sure all of your legal paperwork is in order. Although cohabitation is more common, some benefits are only afforded to married couples (or those with formal domestic partnerships).

In New York, a man named named Robert M. Moore was arrested for fraud. His crime? Listing his live-in girlfriend as his wife in order to put her on this health insurance policy. She used over $13,000 worth of medical insurance, prescription drug coverage, and dental insurance. She hasn’t been arrested, whereas her lover is charged with third degree larceny and fraud.

People often do misguided things for love. It’s understandable that Moore wanted to care for his girlfriend, especially if she has pre-existing conditions that prevent her from buying individual health insurance coverage at an affordable price. Health is certainly more valuable than flowers and candy. Unfortunately, the State Insurance Department doesn’t agree. He faces up to seven years in prison. So think twice before giving your boyfriend or girlfriend a contract with their name on your health insurance policy for Valentine’s Day. If you’re worried about their access to health insurance, you might want to go ahead and put a ring on it instead.

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