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NYSCOP congratulates Governor Hochul as she delivers her first State of the State address of her first full-term.  We applaud the Governor’s vision for building a health care system for the future which takes a holistic approach at addressing the quality of care, improving affordability, and proposing concrete steps to addressing the health care staffing crisis, especially in upstate communities. We look forward to playing an active role in each of these initiatives.

Unfortunately, one of her proposals, the further expansion of coverage for mental health services, seems to be another “business as usual” mandate on private insurance. There is a direct correlation between new mandated benefits and the cost of coverage. As New Yorkers continue to struggle with the ever-increasing cost of coverage, we are especially sensitive to additional mandates which place premiums out of reach. Like the Governor, we support broad access to mental health care, but this proposal appears unnecessary given that New Yorkers already have the broadest mental health coverage in the country, because of the most robust mental health parity laws in the nation.

We look forward to seeing the details of this measure and to working with the Governor over the coming months to ensure that this and other proposals do not lead to further increases in the cost of coverage for average New Yorkers.

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The New York State Conference of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans (NYSCOP) is a partnership of Rochester-based Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York and New York City-based Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield. Together, the health insurance plans provide comprehensive health coverage for millions of New Yorkers.

Connect with NYSCOP: | @NYSBluesPlans