July 9, 2018
Contact: Richard Loconte, 212-709-1691
GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS DFS TO TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION TO PROTECT NEW YORKERS' ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE AFTER TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SUSPENDS ACA'S RISK ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM
In Light of Trump Administration's Action to Further Dismantle the ACA, Governor Directs DFS to Review Impact and Implement an Affordable Health Access Action Plan to Protect New Yorkers, Including Preparing to Expand the State Risk Adjustment Program if the Federal Program is not Reinstated
The Trump Administration's Action Would Harm Those Individuals with Pre-Existing Conditions and Others Who Need Coverage the Most
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed the Department of Financial Services to review the impact and implement an affordable health access action plan in light of the Trump Administration's suspension of the Affordable Care Act's Risk Adjustment Program. The Risk Adjustment Program is designed to stabilize insurance markets by inhibiting the ability of health plans to seek out only the healthiest members, thereby increasing the cost of insurance for those who need it the most. As a result of the Trump Administration's misguided actions, millions of Americans" could face significant increases in cost in their health insurance.
As part of the Affordable Health Access Action Plan, the Governor directed DFS to review all options and prepare to implement an expanded State Risk Adjustment Program that controls health cost increases as much as possible in case the federal program is not reinstated to ensure access to affordable care for all New Yorkers in the long-term.
"Suspending the Risk Adjustment Program is the Trump Administration's latest attempt to do administratively what they couldn't do legislatively: dismantle the Affordable Care Act," Governor Cuomo said. "New Yorkers aren't fooled. We will take action against this regressive policy and protect our health care from the federal government's attacks. In New York, we believe health care is a right, not a privilege, and as long as I am Governor we will never stop fighting to ensure all New Yorkers have access to quality, affordable health care."
Suspending the federal risk adjustment program upends a fundamental principle of the Affordable Care Act that aims to ensure access to affordable healthcare insurance for those who need it the most. Without a comprehensive risk adjustment program, the cost of insurance for those with pre-existing conditions would increase and there would be reduced access to affordable health care.
Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo said, "The Trump Administration's suspension of the Affordable Care Act's risk adjustment payments for 2017 is yet another unjustified action to undermine the ACA's important protections. In New York, we believe health care is a right of every person and we will continue to take every action necessary to ensure that New York's robust market remains strong and all New Yorkers have choice of access to affordable, quality health care. New York DFS will continue to protect our markets through our state market stabilization regulation."
Actions by the Trump Administration to dismantle the ACA, including repealing the individual mandate, have caused insurers to double their requested premium increases. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York has taken aggressive action to protect New Yorkers' access to quality, affordable health care, mandating that insurance companies cannot discriminate against New Yorkers with preexisting conditions or based on age or gender; mandating that insurance policies cover all 10 essential benefits laid out in the Affordable Care Act; and banning all insurers who withdraw from offering Qualified Health Plans on the State Health Marketplace from future participation in the marketplace.
New York was one of the first states in the nation to implement its own health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. Since then, New York has cut the uninsured rate in half from 10 percent to 5 percent and premiums in the individual market have dropped more than 50 percent. Today the state has a robust market, with New Yorkers in every county having a choice of coverage.