As 2nd Year of Obamacare Begins, N.Y. Premiums to Rise

ALBANY (AP) -

Deductibles and co-payments will be flat but premiums will rise about 4.5 percent for individuals and families during the second year of New York’s health exchange, of which the open enrollment period begins on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a nonprofit group’s survey showed nearly one-fourth reported some difficulty getting accepted by doctors as a new patient in the exchange’s first year, but those who were on were generally satisfied.

For next year, 16 insurers are offering individual plans, while nine will have coverage for businesses with 50 or fewer workers.

Even with the increase, rates overall are still about 50 percent lower than they were before the exchange opened because the influx of new enrollees created a larger customer pool, according to the state Department of Financial Services.

New York’s exchange was established under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. It provides tax credits to subsidize low-income people.

Monthly premiums for next year range from $131 for MVP Health’s catastrophic coverage in the Rochester area to $1,207 for Oxford-OHP’s platinum plan in New York City, the Hudson Valley and Long Island. For couples, premiums are double; for single parents and children, 1.7 times higher; and for families, 2.85 times more.

The exchange enrolled 370,604 people with commercial and nonprofit insurers this year, 525,283 in Medicaid and 64,875 in Child Health Plus for families with moderate incomes, the Health Department reported.

One insurer, American Progressive, is dropping out, while Wellcare is joining the individual exchange. In the small business exchange, Oxford Health Plan is leaving and EmblemHealth is joining. Six insurers are expanding their offered coverages.