Statement of Eric Linzer, HPA President & CEO

“The premium rate requests health plans submitted in May were reasonable, reflecting the continued increases in the cost of prescription drugs, rising prices charged by providers, and the impact of the pandemic. We do not believe that the rates the Department of Financial Services approved fully account for these factors, particularly the costs associated with COVID-19.

“Since the outset of the national coronavirus crisis, health plans have worked closely with the State and the Department to protect the health of New Yorkers, combat the spread of the virus, and address the economic impact of the pandemic. This has included eliminating cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment and for telehealth services, providing financial support to hospitals and others in the delivery system, and extending grace periods to individuals and small business, all of which have fiscal implications for health plans.

“We remain committed to continuing to work with the Administration to support consumers and employers and confront the ongoing challenges of the current public health crisis. However, as the final rates do not reflect the potential costs of testing, diagnosis and treatment for COVID-19 or fully recognize the cost of services deferred until 2021, we are concerned about the impact today’s announcement will have on the long-term stability of the marketplace.”