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ISSUED 1/13/2004 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DEPARTMENT: HEALTHY NY MORE AFFORDABLE AND ACCESSIBLE

Independent Study Reports on NY’s Success In Helping the Working Uninsured

Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio today announced the release of the latest independent study of New York State’s Healthy NY program which indicates that Healthy NY has been successful in meeting the challenge of providing affordable quality health insurance for working New Yorkers. The report, published by Lewin Group, has found steady progress in Healthy NY’s structure and enrollment and predicts that improvements in the program in 2003 will continue to yield increased enrollment in 2004.

"Healthy NY has been recognized as the first program of its kind in the nation, providing affordable health insurance options to tens of thousands of small business employees and working uninsured individuals," said Serio. "This report confirms that the goal behind Healthy NY – providing working New Yorkers access to affordable health insurance coverage – is being met."

"We’re pleased that the adjustments we made to the program last year have helped enrollment in the program more than double," said Serio. "The report projects continued strong enrollment growth in the future, and New Yorkers should be assured that the State will continue to do everything possible to meet their health insurance needs."

The Lewin Study annually examines the impact of Healthy NY and analyzes the enrollment, premium costs, cost experience by the HMOs, surveys the enrollees and gathers input from participating employers and participating health plans.

Key findings of the report include:

  • With over 60,000 New Yorkers having participated in Healthy NY, the study states that there is a "high likelihood for continued strong enrollment growth" and "it seems likely that enrollment will continue to grow sharply during 2004."
  • The study states that New York State is making significant adjustments to Healthy NY to meet the needs of potential enrollees taking "several steps to make the program affordable for as many persons as possible." These changes have resulted in dramatic premium rate decreases in 2003, resulting in rates that are now 50% lower than rates in the standard market.
  • Healthy NY is meeting the needs of New Yorkers with 89% of surveyed enrollees indicating they are "highly satisfied" or "satisfied" and 87% of employers indicating that Healthy NY has met their expectations.
  • The State’s efforts to educate potential Healthy NY enrollees has been deemed extremely effective in this report, with the greatest enrollment increases having occurred during the State’s active marketing campaign. The report states, "advertising campaigns have played a key role in the Program’s enrollment," having "both short-term and long-term effects in fostering awareness and enrollment."

"The successful impact of Healthy NY on meeting the needs of the health insurance consumers in New York State is proven in this study. In the report’s analysis of enrollment and cost it documents that Healthy NY is meeting the needs of New Yorkers and enrollees are significantly pleased with their Healthy NY coverage," added Serio. "When Governor Pataki signed the Health Care Reform Act of 2000 he ensured that this new legislation included health insurance coverage for New Yorkers and Healthy NY has be proven to be a meaningful model to provide important coverage to the working uninsured."

The State launched the Healthy NY program in January 2001 to give working families access to affordable health insurance coverage. For further information in English and Spanish on Healthy NY visit the Web site at www.healthyny.com or call us toll-free at the Healthy NY hotline--1-866-HEALTHY NY (1-866-432-5849).

 

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