APPROVED 2015 HEALTH INSURANCE RATES FOR NEW YORK and LONG ISLAND
INCLUDING RATE INCREASES FOR HEALTH BENEFITS EXCHANGE IN SUFFOLK COUNTY thru NY STATE OF HEALTH
The NY Department of Financial Services (DFS) had a press release on September 4th 2014 regarding 2015 health insurance rates. I wanted to share my thoughts as well as share some detailed information on the actual rate increases by carrier for Suffolk County Long Island individuals and groups.
The first statement from the press release I wanted to share is the following: “Nearly one million New Yorkers enrolled in individual health insurance coverage through NY State of Health during its first open enrollment period, including approximately 370,000 who enrolled in private plans.” – While at face value this looks encouraging, I find this disturbing as that means 630,000 applicants enrolled via MEDICAID for no premium cost to those individuals. While this of course is welcome to those needing coverage, it will greatly increase the Medicaid rolls and thus increase taxes for the rest of the population.
The next statement is listed under the Individual Market heading and states: “On average, insurers requested a 12.5 percent increase in health insurance rates for 2015 in the individual market. DFS reduced that average increase more than in half to 5.7 percent – which is below the approximately 8 percent average increase in health care costs.” While this is good for the consumer, how can any company survive when underlying costs are going up by 8%, and the company can only raise their premiums to cover this increase by a lower amount – 5.7%? This is classic political maneuvering, but will ultimately result in carriers leaving the market as they are not able to remain viably in business. I am not an insurance carrier fan by any means, but reality has to trump desires and keeping rates artificially low will ultimately lead to financially shaky insurers with less carrier choices long term.
Below is a chart that lists carriers available in Suffolk County for 2015 that shows requested rate increases along with approved rate increases. For detailed 2015 rates, please call us directly.
INDIVIDUAL HEALTH RATES 2015
|Empire BlueCross BlueShield HMO*||18.40%||7.37%|
|Health Republic Insurance of New York*||15.35%||13.04%|
|Care Connect (North Shore LIJ)*||-1.24%||-3.22%|
|Oxford Health Plan||1.08%||-9.41%|
|UnitedHealthcare of NY*||-5.85%||-15.32%|
* Companies that offer individual coverage on the NY State of Health Individual Marketplace
SMALL GROUP HEALTH RATES 2015
|Aetna Life Insurance Co.||25.81%||10.19%|
|Empire HealthChoice Assurance||23.34%||12.53%|
|Empire BlueCross BlueShield HMO||22.62%||11.87%|
|Health Republic Insurance of New York*||5.89%||3.36%|
|Care Connect (North Shore-LIJ)*||-14.61%||-14.61%|
|Oxford Health Insurance*||12.23%||3.21%|
|Oxford Health Plan||16.18%||8.79%|
* Companies that offer small group coverage on the NY State of Health Small Business Marketplace