Letter to New York State Congressional Delegation

August 7, 2017

To the New York State Congressional Delegation,

As groups representing millions of New York consumers, providers, health plans, employers and frontline health care and human services workers, we share a common belief that every New Yorker deserves affordable health insurance and high quality care. You have heard from many of our organizations, individually and jointly, during the recent debate over health care repeal legislation.

We write to you now, representing the broadest spectrum of stakeholders, to urge you to take action to avoid an imminent threat to our State’s individual health insurance market and Basic Health Plan, called the Essential Plan.

Over 700,000 low- and moderate-income New Yorkers benefit from cost-sharing reduction (CSR) funds under the Affordable Care Act. The payments help those who need it most:

• 700,000 people earning less than 200% of the Federal poverty level (FPL) who are enrolled in the State’s Essential Plan, which is funded in part by CSRs; and
• approximately 65,000 earning between 200%-250% FPL who benefit from lower cost-sharing as a result of CSR payments made to health plans to subsidize coverage purchased via New York State of Health.

In New York, the Department of Financial Services instructed health plans to develop 2018 premiums under the assumption that CSR subsidies would continue, and plans submitted premium accordingly with that belief. If the CSRs are discontinued and the State is unable to modify rates, it would disrupt the stability of the New York marketplace. That disruption, along with the loss of significant Essential Plan funding, would result in more uninsured New Yorkers, more financial instability for providers and higher costs for all.

We are grateful that New York Congressional representatives from both parties understand the seriousness of this problem and are actively seeking solutions. We strongly urge you to do the following:

• Contact Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price and ask the Trump Administration to continue CSR payments until Congress can act.
• Support legislation to permanently fund the CSRs.

As always, we stand ready to work with you to stand up for New Yorkers.

The Business Council
New York Health Plan Association
Coalition of New York State Public Health Plans
New York State Conference of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans
Healthcare Association of New York State
Greater New York Hospital Association
Community Health Care Association of New York State
Medical Society of the State of New York
Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State
New York State Association of Health Care Providers
Home Care Association of New York State
UJA Federation New York
Community Service Society
New York StateWide Senior Action Council
Citizen Action Consumers Union
Healthcare for All New York
New York State AFL-CIO
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
New York State Nurses Association
Doctors Council SEIU
Communications Workers of America District 1
District Council 37 AFSCME