KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Law Backers Hail N.Y. News That Insurance Rates Will Drop

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that premiums for health policies purchased by individuals in the state's new online marketplace will fall on average 50 percent in 2014.

The Wall Street Journal: New York Health Plan Rates Approved
Starting next year, individual insurance plans for New York consumers will carry premiums at least 50% lower than those currently available, according to rates approved by state insurance regulators in anticipation of changes to the federal health-care law, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday (Orden, 7/17).

Politico: Obamacare Backers Cheer N.Y.'s Falling Rates
New York is the newest flash point in the Obamacare messaging war. Buoyed by news that premiums are poised to fall 50 percent or more for individuals next year, health law supporters trumpeted the state’s announcement — first reported by The New York Times — as proof that the health law is goosing competition and driving down costs for consumers. ... But it took less than a New York minute for Obamacare critics to poke holes in the announcement, saying the state’s current sky-high rates for individuals are actually proof of what Obamacare will do to the rest of the country (Millman and Cheney, 7/18).

Bloomberg: New York Health Exchanges Offer 50% Drop In Premiums
Health insurance premiums will drop by about 50 percent on average for consumers in New York who buy new plans through a state-run marketplace created by the U.S. Affordable Care Act. The state approved plans to be sold by 17 insurers. ... New York may have been more ripe for savings than other states. Like the federal health law, New York regulators require insurers to accept all applicants, regardless of medical conditions. Unlike the federal act, the state doesn't mandate that all residents -- including the young and healthy -- buy insurance. That's produced a market tilted toward sicker, costlier members and driven New York premiums to among the highest in the country. Starting in 2014, that will be mitigated by the federal law's subsidies for low- and middle-income customers, and its requirement that all Americans get coverage or pay a penalty (Klopott and Nussbaum, 7/17).

Marketplace: Why Many States Won't See N.Y.-Sized Savings Under Obamacare
This headline in the New York Times this morning: 'Health Plan Cost for New Yorkers Set to Fall 50%' sounded like good news for the Obama administration. But it may not be as good as federal officials are trying to make it. As a health care reporter, you know something's up when a breathless email from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services arrives in your inbox. "Wanted to make sure that you had seen the news that premiums in New York’s individual market are set to fall under the Affordable Care Act," wrote spokeswoman Joanne Peters (Gorenstein, 7/17).

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