WXXI AM News

ACA

President Trump says that Americans should consider Obamacare dead and buried, but it's not. So what options do Americans have when it comes to the open enrollment period?

We discuss options and the current state of healthcare legislation. Our guests:

  • Jane Dodds, practice administrator for Women Gynecology and Childbirth Associates, and 30 year member of Medical Group Management Association
  • Leslie Moran, senior vice president for the New York Health Plan Association

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state is moving to ensure several protections in the Affordable Care Act remain in place regardless of whether the Republican-led Congress votes to repeal it, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

Cuomo, a Democrat, has directed state regulators to prohibit insurers from discriminating against customers based on pre-existing conditions, age or gender. The state also will require insurers to cover contraceptive drugs and devices without charging co-pays or deductibles.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, the area’s largest HMO, has reported its financial results for last year.

The company saw net income of  nearly $100 million, which was higher than last year. Officials say that income number is 1.7 percent of its overall $6 billion in premium revenues for 2016.

Officials say administrative costs to run the business declined for the second year in a row.

Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield is reporting its financial results from last year, and the health insurer says it made a profit of one percent, which amounts to about $58 million in net income, or an operating gain of $23.4 million.

That's an improvement from the previous year, when it saw an operating loss of just over $55 million

The company says the net income goes into Excellus’ reserves to protect members from higher-than-expected claims expenses or lower than anticipated revenues.

www.bbb.org

As local businesses and their employees are making decisions about their health care coverage for next year, it appears that more of them will be considering high deductible plans.

The annual survey by the Rochester Business Alliance shows that 86 percent of the local employers surveyed plan to offer one or more high deductible health insurance plans next year, which is a 10 percent increase from last year.

RBA CEO Bob Duffy says those plans give the companies a way to offer competitive benefits while maintaining control over rising health care costs.

New York State officials are taking additional action which they say is designed to protect consumers impacted by problems involving an organization that was serving some people who use New York’s Health Exchange.

One of the actions affecting a health cooperative called Health Republic is extending the enrollment deadline that customers of that organization have to pick a new insurance carrier.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  A federal oversight agency says the New York Health Exchange's internal controls sometimes were ineffective in verifying household income and reconciling inconsistent data for people enrolling for coverage and financial assistance. 

The Department of Health and Human Services inspector general says that doesn't necessarily mean the exchange improperly enrolled applicants, noting that other controls did work, like verifying Social Security numbers. 

ALBANY (AP) New York's health exchange reports connecting 2.1 million residents to health coverage following its second open enrollment period, including 89 percent who said they were uninsured when they applied.

Exchange Executive Director Donna Frescatore says the second year's enrollment built on the first year's base.

Captain America is coming to Rochester. As part of an outreach initiative with the state health department, experts are partnering with costumed heroes at Marketplace Mall.

Captain America - the superhero - may not be the guy most people associate with health insurance, but Sherry Tomasky of New York State of Health says he can still help their cause by catching the attention of people of all ages.

"They remember these from when they were kids and now their own children are enjoying a resurgence of these characters."

A majority of respondents to a recent survey report satisfaction with their new health insurance through the New York State of Health Marketplace.

Last month, Harris Poll conducted an online survey of 250 New York State residents new to insurance through the state exchange.

92 percent of those polled report being somewhat or completely satisfied with their coverage.

David Sandman, Senior Vice President of the New York State Health Foundation, says they were surprised by some of the results.

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