November 17, 2008

The individual health insurance market in New York State is in crisis: enrollment has plummeted and premium costs have skyrocketed beyond the point of affordability for most people. Without changes to the market, this death spiral will likely continue. Recreating a viable market for individuals and families will be a major building block in efforts to create universal coverage for all New Yorkers.

At the conference, local and national experts representing diverse perspectives reflected on these proposed solutions and their potential impact and consequences. With reform of the individual market expected to be near the top of next year’s policy and budget debate, the conference was a timely and useful event for consumers, insurers, policymakers, researchers, and providers.

Below are presentations from the conference:


Peter Newell, Co-Director, Health Insurance Project, United Hospital Fund
Merging the Markets: Combining New York’s Individual and Small Group Markets into a Single
Risk Pool

Mark Wagar, President and CEO, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield
You Can Buy It, But Can You Afford It? Lessons and Solutions for Individual Coverage from
Empire’s 75 Years Covering New Yorkers

Jeff Alter, CEO, Northeast Region, United Healthcare
Rethinking New York’s Direct Pay Market: The Advantage of Creating a New Community Pool


Mark Scherzer, Legislative Counsel, New Yorkers for Accessible Health Coverage
Proposals to Save the Direct Pay Market: New Life or Just Life Support?

Tarren Bragdon, Adjunct Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
Reforming New York’s Individual Health Insurance Market: Reactions and Perspectives

Karen Pollitz, Project Director, Georgetown Public Policy Institute
Health Care Reform and Individual Insurance in New York

Back to Event Recaps