Gov. Cuomo Advances Health Exchange

On Thursday, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order to create New York’s Health Benefit Exchange. Legislation establishing the Exchange had been included in the Governor’s Executive Budget proposal but had fallen off the table during budget negotiations.

Governor Cuomo emphasized that the state would rely on federal financing to set up the exchange and has already received $88 million in federal grants to plan for its health exchange. According to the Executive Order, individuals and small businesses purchasing coverage through the exchange can tap up to $2.6 billion in federal tax credits and subsidies. The Exchange’s deadline to start operating is Jan. 1, 2014.

The Executive Order will set up the exchange within the State Health Department, rather than as a separate state entity. The Executive Order allows for regional advisory committees consisting of consumer advocates, small business consumer representatives, health care providers, agents, brokers, insurers, labor organizations, and any other appropriate stakeholders to advise and make recommendations on the establishment and operation of the Exchange, including recommendations about relevant regional factors. The advisory committees will also provide opportunities for public input. To read more go here.

-Jaime Venditti, 4/13/12