Effective January 1st, 2001 small businesses and their employees who don't have any health insurance will have an opportunity to purchase low cost health insurance. New York State's new "Healthy New York" program is set to kick-off on that date. The program designed by New York State is designed for employers with 50 employees or less and who have not offered heath insurance in the last 12 months proceeding their enrollment. What the State has done is mandate a line-up of core benefits such as doctor co-pays, hospital coverage and prescription drugs and has stripped away some other coverage's that have been mandatory in the commercial market for some time. The Health New York program does have some mandatory enrollment guidelines, such as:
The Employer must contribute at least 50% of the cost.
30% of the employees must make less than $30,000 and at least one of them must enroll.
The business must be located in New York
All employees must be New York residents.
The State is requiring that all HMO's licensed in the State must offer the program. For-profit and commercial insurers may participate if they wish to. Rates for this new product are not available yet however; the insurance department is saying that rates should be available by the end of November. The rates for this plan should be rather affordable since the State will be subsidizing the carriers for any claims submitted between the amounts of $10,000 and $30,000. Expect rates to be 25% to 30% less then comparable group plans from the same HMO's.
Purchasing this plan will be very easy since the program will be available through any Health Insurance Broker as well as other business outlets. To find out more about this program you can log on to the New York State Insurance Department's website or call 866-HealthyNY (this number will not be working until the end of November) and of course you can contact your local broker. We at Small Business Plans, Inc. will be offering the plan from all carriers just as they become available.