State Lawmakers Hear from IIABNY on Health Care Reform Effects on NY Agents
IIABNY Regional Director John H. Smith Jr., CPCU, ARM was among the insurance industry representatives testifying Monday in Albany at a state Senate hearing examining the impact of the Affordable Care Act on New Yorkers. Smith, who is executive vice president of Newburgh–based William A. Smith & Son Insurance Agency, outlined the difficulties his agency and other IIABNY members have experienced in attempting to place business through NY State of Health, the state’s health insurance exchange.
Smith cited the lack of a comparative rating tool, inadequate tax credits for small business clients, delays in the transmission of data from the exchange to carriers, lack of training aimed at producers in using the NYSOH web portal and too few affordable plans and coverage options for both the individual and small business markets.
“Overall, the ACA has resulted in fewer options for consumers,” Smith said. “While the essential benefits provided by the ACA are good, the higher deductibles, higher cost sharing and loss of out-of-network coverage has diminished the coverage actually provided to consumers.”
The public hearing, hosted by the Senate Health and Insurance committees, was an opportunity for lawmakers to hear from insurers, insureds, producer groups and other stakeholders about their experiences with the state exchange and review how previously insured New Yorkers are being affected by federal health care reform as well as state efforts to help them.
In addition to looking at the impact federal health care reform has had on insurance agents and brokers, lawmakers are also reviewing:
- Demographics of individuals and families enrolled in private plans through the exchange
- Current and projected enrollment on the SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) exchange
- Individuals, sole proprietors and small businesses losing insurance because of the Affordable Care Act or facing higher premiums
- Availability, training and use of navigators and application counselors
Security of consumer information on the exchange
Read John Smith’s full testimony here