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New York State Conference of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans (NYSCOP) on the Governor’s Early Intervention Proposal

Statement by Deborah Fasser, NYSCOP spokeswoman

“Disguised as a series of reforms, the Executive Budget once again shifts the costs of the Early Intervention (“EI”) Program from the state and localities to private citizens who purchase health insurance coverage.

“This proposal requires consumers to pay for health care programs that are currently paid for by government. New Yorkers who purchase health insurance already pay an estimated $4.7 billion in taxes on coverage. They should not be expected to pay even more.

“Health plans would be forced to pay for certain high cost EI services without any say as to the effectiveness of the care, whether the care is appropriate and medically necessary, and whether the provider is properly credentialed to provide the service. In other words, the health plan is not performing medical management or insurance functions, but is simply writing the check for the service.

“This initiative was proposed by the Governor last year however it was rejected by the Legislature as yet another hidden fee, which will ultimately increase the cost of health insurance for New Yorkers.

“Instead of continuing excessive taxes and imposing new fees on health insurance consumers, the State should find ways to ensure that consumers have access to quality, affordable health insurance coverage. This proposal is nothing more than shifting additional costs onto the backs of consumers.”