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 BadgerCare Plus program for children and families is expecting to run $16 million over projected costs for 2009.
"While Wisconsin received good news with the approval of using federal funds to expand its BadgerCare Plus program, the state is facing a severe financial crisis that could stall efforts to roll out the program statewide," said Ric Gross, HealthLeaders-InterStudy analyst. "While state officials struggle to develop the best possible expansion timeline, they are also hopeful that the incoming Obama administration may provide some relief to states in need."
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