Health Care & Health Insurance Committee Update:
State of the State 2018
Staff Contact: Lev Ginsburg
January 3, 2018
In today’s State of the State Address, the Governor outlined some initiatives that he dubbed “Empower Health Care Consumers.” We will continue to review the proposals and look forward to the release of the executive budget proposal for review as well. Among the proposals, the following may have an impact on our members and their employees:
- Direct the Department of Financial Services to require health plans to provide members with information, such as cost-estimator tools and quality ratings about healthcare providers in their network.
- Expand existing legal protections for patients regarding medical bill collection; prohibiting entities from filing a lien against homes in the collection of medical debt if the patient was eligible for financial assistance from the provider and did not receive it.
- Direct the Department of Financial Services and the Department of Health to work with healthcare providers and payers to provide specific recommendations to simplify medical bills so that consumers can more readily understand them.
- Direct the Department of Financial Services to create a searchable database of prior external appeals that consumers can easily access to review past decisions.
- Additionally, the Governor will advance a program bill to codify access to contraception, including emergency contraception as well as increasing efforts to fight the opioid epidemic.
I would also like to take the opportunity to introduce Brendan O’Bryan, our newest lobbyist, who will be handling health issues on a day-to-day basis. Brendan has joined us from the Binghamton Chamber, where he was Government Affairs Manager for the past four years. He can be reached at email@example.com.