New York, NY – On Tuesday, December 29, 2015 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law two bills sponsored by freshman Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright that work together to ease the costs of a changing insurance market on small businesses and school districts which currently use stop-loss/reinsurance to provide healthcare for their employees.
The legislation responds to the Affordable Care Act’s recommendation to redefine small groups from those containing 100 or fewer employees to those containing 50 or fewer employees. Seawright’s legislation allows those employers who presently use stop-loss/reinsurance programs and will be affected by the change (those who employ between 51 and 100 individuals) to continue their existing cost effective coverage.
“This legislation is urgently needed by small businesses and school districts so they can continue to provide cost effective healthcare coverage to their employees while transitioning to a community rated pool,” Assembly Member Seawright said. “It is important that we consider the tight budgets of the many small employers who use this type of insurance before mandating them to quickly switch to a more expensive policy. This legislation will allow time to budget for the possibility of joining the small group health insurance market in the future and has the added benefit of calling for a study to determine the pros and cons of their entry into that market,” Seawright stated.
The bills, which were sponsored in the Senate by Senator James L. Seward, received support from the Council of School Superintendents, NYSUT, NYS School Boards Association, Cigna, and NYS Association of School Business Officials and passed the Assembly and Senate with an overwhelming majority of votes.
The Governor’s signing of the two bills marks the conclusion of a successful first session in Albany for Assembly Member Seawright, who sponsored five bills last session that were signed into law.