Press-Republican

Local News

August 21, 2013

New York launches health-benefit market

(Continued)

ELIZABETHTOWN —

In live remarks, Frescatore said hundreds of insurance brokers have been trained to roll out the new system.

“All New Yorkers can be assured they will have qualified, trained individuals to help them throughout the state,” she said.

PLAN PRICES VARY

There are many options in sorting insurance plans, and rates vary widely.

A sample calculation done by the Press-Republican for a family of four — two parents with two children who live in Essex County — showed 13 private insurance plans with monthly base rates ranging from $377.28 to $4,455.38 (per month), with zero deductible and no charge for mental-health care or substance-abuse disorders.

None of the plans include dental care, which has to be purchased separately. 

Of the 13 offerings in the sample search, one is lower than $400 per month; one between $600 and $700 per month; three plans between $700 and $900 per month, and eight plans are $1,000 per month and above.

The Healthy NY plan in the sample search was $1,095.17 per month with no deductible as part of a health maintenance organization (HMO) program. Mental-health care was not available in this plan, which carries a $500 co-payment for hospital fees.

The least expensive health-care plan, TraditionPlus Indemnity, is estimated for a family of four at $377.28 per month and is a “fee-for-service” program.

Two other programs with a monthly cost of less than $1,000 for a family of four are Healthy NY HDHP (high-deductible health plan), without prescription coverage, at $616.88 per month and Healthy NY HDHP, with prescription coverage for $873.45, per month. Both plans are Health Savings Account eligible. Neither offer mental-health coverage or substance-abuse treatment.

HELP WITH COSTS

New York State of Health does offer financial assistance to lower the cost of coverage for people with incomes below 400 percent of the federal poverty level: $45,960 for individuals and $94,200 for a family of four.

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