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Economic Downturn Means Increased Demands on Budget-Challenged State Health Coverage Initiatives
Date:12/10/2008

New York and Wisconsin Among States with Hurdles Ahead, According to New Reports from HealthLeaders-InterStudy

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that states will face pressure to re-examine their government-sponsored health coverage programs and insurance laws as commercially-insured members lose their jobs or come off severance packages and COBRA insurance in 2009-2010. According to recent reports from HealthLeaders-InterStudy, conditions in New York and Wisconsin present examples of how lawmakers will face hurdles in the year ahead.

According to the Fall 2008 TriState Health Plan Analysis, New York residents will be challenged to find affordable insurance options in the individual market. Insurers cannot sell short-term policies in the state and government-subsidized programs face nearly certain cutbacks as the state contends with a $1.5 billion budget shortfall this fiscal year.

"The inability of residents to secure short-term coverage may be addressed by New York lawmakers in the coming year," said Chris Lewis, analyst with HealthLeaders-InterStudy. "New York laws guarantee issue of individual policies regardless of health status and requires them to be community rated rather than medically underwritten. What this means for the consumer is that individual insurance is expensive, with premiums on standardized direct-pay products averaging $973 for individual coverage in New York County, for instance."

The Fall 2008 Wisconsin Health Plan Analysis finds that Wisconsin will find it challenging to implement the expansion of its BadgerCare Plus program to childless adults, which received federal approval in October. The expansion could cost the state as much as $45 million a year. Likewise, the BadgerCar
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SOURCE HealthLeaders-InterStudy
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