I hope this e-mail finds you well, and you’re enjoying the final few weeks before school starts. Yesterday, Donna Frescatore – Executive Director of the NY Health Benefit Exchange – announced that New York’s Health Benefits Exchange will be called “New York State of Health”. to visit the website. If you’d like to read the press release, click here.

For your edification, we plan to offer plans both in and outside of the Exchange, and we’ll continue to assist you with your employee benefit needs. Also announced was the Qualified Health Plans participating on the Exchange. The press release is somewhat misleading as it gives the impression that the Exchange will have many more carriers to choose from; however, the Exchange will have fewer group carriers than we currently have outside of the Exchange. Below is a list of the carriers available via the Exchange in NYC (for the other counties outlined view here).

Manhattan (New York County)

Small Business Marketplace

  • • Freelancers Co-Op dba Health Republic
  • MetroPlus Health Plan
  • United Healthcare (Oxford)

Individual Marketplace

  • Affinity Health Plan
  • Empire BlueCross BlueShield
  • Fidelis Care
  • Freelancers Co-Op dba Health Republic
  • Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York (EmblemHealth)
  • Healthfirst New York
  • MetroPlus Health Plan
  • Oscar Insurance
  • United Healthcare

I’m sure you’re concerned about your requirements as an employer to keep yourself and employees up-to-date. With so much changing rapidly, and since New York is one of only 17 states to have its own Exchange, we are advising groups to wait until after Labor Day – and quite possibly as late as the end of September – to work on an announcement that complies with the requirements.

Much of what you will read and hear in the mainstream media refers to the National Exchange, which is nowhere near as ready as New York’s Exchange. Of course, you can let your employees know now that the official notification will follow the October 1st deadline, but to expend resources now on a document that is not 100% accurate (due to the fluctuating implementation timelines and propositions) will not be beneficial.

My commentary is not meant to be blasé, but informed and conservative considering all the changes we have seen in just the last few weeks. As October 1st nears, we will have more information to share on the actual plans available, your responsibilities as an employer, and how to assist your employees.

As always, we’re at the ready to assist you and your team with your employee benefits needs. Let us know what else you may need. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss further.

Jeffrey R. Ungvary