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Issue Position: Expanding Quality, Affordable Health Care - Health Plan New York

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Issue Position: Expanding Quality, Affordable Health Care - Health Plan New York

We need to give options to working New Yorkers who aren't covered under their employers and who aren't able to afford private insurance plans. I call this plan Health Plan New York; here are the basics of it;

• Working New Yorkers who are eligible for government programs, but who are not currently enrolled, will be guided into these programs.

• All employers will be required to purchase a health insurance plan for their employees and individuals will be required to participate. Businesses will be pooled together with the help of the City in purchasing private health insurance which will cut costs and increase the options available to employers and employees. Insurance companies will compete to provide affordable and quality coverage to pool participants and guarantee coverage for all of the employees of businesses in the pool, regardless of an employee's health condition.

• HaPNY will create, within the Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), a managed care program as an option for the lowest income workers and the smallest businesses. This option will be in addition to the menu of programs in the HaPNY buying pool. The HHC is the best public hospital system in the country, providing primary, clinical, and hospital care. Participants will benefit from a system where the entire healthcare package is overseen by one entity.

• For self-employed workers HaPNY will coordinate with the Freelancers Union to provide insurance for the growing class of New Yorkers that are self-employed. The Freelancers Union currently provides insurance to 16,000 self-employed workers and their families. Self employed workers will find more than 40% savings on their premiums when joining the Freelancers Union.

• HaPNY can be fully paid for with the pool of money we are already spending to insure the "gap" workers. Ultimately, HaPNY will have a net cost savings. Currently we spend $3660 per "gap" worker, totaling approximately $1.6 billion. HPNY will cover the same population for $1000 - $1700 per person on average depending on which plan they enroll in. HaPNY will cost a total of between $550 and $800 million, half of the amount that is currently being spent for their care. In the long run HaPNY will cut costs, and reduce taxes, as HaPNY lowers the cost of everyone's healthcare. Specifically, these savings will result from:

• Pooling business and their employees will result in savings of close to 55% over their cost of insurance in the individual market. Small businesses, with 10-20 employees, joined together in a buying pool can have the buying power of a Fortune 500 company.

• Younger and healthier workers, who often do not buy insurance, will be included in the insurance market. Combining high and low risk individuals in an insurance market lowers the overall cost of coverage further.

• Insuring all workers will shift the paradigm of healthcare for these workers from expensive acute emergency room care to less expensive and more effective preventive care. Experience has shown that a single dollar of preventive care results in $30 in savings. It is anticipated that as more workers leave the uninsured pool we will be able to capture the money allocated to them to a system of tax credits to offset the costs of HaPNY."


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