New York: NYSoH enters outreach agreement w/Lyft & Uber; FREE/dirt cheap Bronze plans available for thousands

New York State of Health posted this press release today...

ALBANY, NY (November 8, 2017) – NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan Marketplace, today announced a new partnership with ride sharing companies Lyft and Uber. Through the partnership, Lyft and Uber will reach more than 200,000 drivers throughout New York State urging them to visit the Marketplace to shop for and enroll in quality, affordable health insurance. NY State of Health will work directly with Lyft and Uber to promote coverage options and enrollment opportunities for drivers through an email campaign, In-App notifications and in-person education on coverage options.

...More than 4 million individuals throughout New York State – that’s more than 1 in 5, New Yorkers - have enrolled in quality, affordable health insurance coverage through NY State of Health. Many individuals who qualify for federal tax credits to purchase a Qualified Health Plan will see premiums for comparable coverage decrease in 2018. On average, consumers who select the most popular silver level plan will see their premium decrease by five percent. In addition, Bronze level Qualified Health Plan coverage is available for free for individuals earning $25,000 in 43 counties of the state and costs between $8 to $44 per month in the other 19 counties. Bronze coverage offers free preventive care, catastrophic coverage and satisfies the federal mandate to have health insurance.

The Uber/Lyft thing is very nice, but I'm more interested in the 5% rate drop for Silver plan enrollees. This is interesting because to the best of my knowledge, every one of the insurance carriers in the state raised their rates by an average of 12-13%.

On the one hand, this is far lower than the national average this year because due to their Essential Plan BHP program, New York is virtually untouched by the CSR sabotage factor which has added around 14 percentage points to the premiums in most other state. As a result, there's really no CSR Silver Loading games to be played in NY.

On the other hand, that's still a fairly significant increase. I'm not sure how they pulled off a 5% decrease unless the benchmark plan is being handled differently from most other policies, but whatever.

In any event, while I've written about the free/dirt-cheap Bronze plans available to many people nationally before, it's nice to see one of the larger exchanges calling attention to this fact.

Of course, it'd be even nicer if NYSoH also released their enrollment data on a more frequent basis, but I'll take what I can get...