New York establishes healthcare exchange

April 13, 2012 at 7:36 PM
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ALBANY, N.Y., April 13 (UPI) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order to create a statewide health exchange that is expected to lower the cost of coverage for some New Yorkers.

Cuomo said the state exchange, required by the Affordable Care Act, will reduce the cost of coverage for individuals, small businesses and local governments. The exchange will ensure eligible small businesses and individuals receive premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions.

"The bottom line is that creating this health exchange will lower the cost of health insurance for small businesses, local governments, and individual New Yorkers across the state. The sky-high cost of insurance in New York is driving businesses out of the state and preventing lower income New Yorkers from being able to afford needed coverage," Cuomo said in a statement. "Establishing the health exchange will bring true competition into the healthcare marketplace, driving costs down across the state."

By lowering the cost of healthcare insurance, the exchange will also help more than 1 million uninsured New Yorkers afford coverage, Cuomo said.

Currently, state and local governments pay more than $600 million every year to cover the healthcare costs of uninsured individuals. Unreimbursed costs are passed on to individuals and small businesses, adding an additional $800 in premiums on a family's average cost each year, Cuomo said.

With the exchange, small businesses should see the cost of providing coverage to their employees drop by 22 percent, he said.

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