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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government

Health Care: Insurance Coverage

Insurance Coverage

Expanding Public Health Insurance Under the Affordable Care Act:
What New York Might Learn from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont

This lively, interactive public policy forum focused on how some states are expanding public health coverage in implementing the federal legislation that passed last year. The forum kicked off with presentations from speakers representing states neighboring New York. Brian Rosman of Health Care for All Massachusetts described the five-year-old Massachusetts law that is the model for federal reform law. Jill Zorn of the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut discussed legislation to establish a public option — a state-run insurance plan that would compete with private insurers — when Connecticut implements federal health reform. Robin Lunge represented Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, who is expected to sign legislation authorizing Vermont to set up a single-payer health plan, which would cover all state residents and be funded by taxpayers. New York State Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon, Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried and Judy Arnold of the New York State Health Department spoke about past and current efforts aimed at expanding health coverage in New York. Also joining the forum were representatives of health insurance, hospital and insurance groups: Mary Clark of Citizen Action of New York, a consumer advocacy group; Jeffrey Gold of the Health Care Association of New York State, a group of hospitals and health care networks; and Paul Macielak of New York Health Plan Association, a trade group for managed care insurance plans.
May 19, 2011

Gold, Silver, and Bronze: The Important Role of Product Standardization in Health Insurance Reform

National health reform will rely on consumer choice and competition to control costs whether or not there is a public insurance option, according to this Institute report. Rational consumer choice, however, is difficult without standardizing health insurance plans, so that value can be easily compared. States may have to play a key role in such standardization.
Courtney Burke with Dina Belloff, November 10, 2009
Companion piece: State Case Studies: Product Standardization in Small Group and Individual Insurance Markets

Managing Risk in Health Insurance Markets: A Challenge for States in the Midst of Health Care Reform

States seeking to manage health-insurance risk while providing coverage to more residents should apply several strategies at once, say the Institute's Courtney Burke and Harvard University's Katherine Swartz in this report. Strategies include a requirement that individuals purchase insurance, creation of an insurance exchange, and merger of small group and individual markets.
Courtney Burke and Katherine Swartz, September 10, 2009

How States Are Financing Health Coverage Initiatives

Courtney Burke, director of the Institute's Health Policy Research Center, gave a presentation on states' efforts to provide health insurance coverage at the 2009 annual research meeting of AcademyHealth, a professional society for health researchers and policy analysts. In addition to a talk and slide presentation, Burke presented posters on state financing of such coverage efforts and on risk management strategies.
State Financing for Coverage Initiatives: Poster Abstract
Managing Risk: Poster Abstract
Courtney Burke, June 27, 2009

State Financing for Health Coverage Initiatives: Observations
and Options

New York faces steep financial challenges as it works toward universal health care coverage, according to a new report by the Institute's Health Policy Research Center. The report, funded by the New York State Health Foundation, analyzes potential sources of revenue and savings that the state could tap.
Courtney Burke and Kimberley Fox, June 3, 2009

Mitigating the Effects of High-Risk, High-Cost Populations in the Private Health Insurance Market

At this Institute Public Policy Forum, Katherine Swartz, professor of health policy and economics at the Harvard School of Public Health, provided an overview of the "Massachusetts experience" with ensuring universal health coverage, with a focus on the need to manage — and contain costs — for people with high medical expenses. In response, New York officials representing the departments of Health and Insurance — Troy Oechsner, Jay Laudato and Eileen Hayes — shared perspectives on New York's challenges in expanding care to more high-risk patients.
May 21, 2009

Implementing Small-Group Market Reforms: Lessons from the States

This report is a summary of key findings from a Rockefeller Institute survey of state-level efforts to encourage and expand health insurance coverage offered by small businesses. It reviews the experiences and challenges of implementation of insurance reform in three states.
Rockefeller Institute of Government, September 2008

The summary report is accompanied by these more detailed reports:

From Access to Affordability: A Summary of State Strategies to Provide Private Health Insurance to Small Businesses

This paper is a nationwide scan of the various strategies states are using to try to address the growing problem of small group coverage.
Courtney Burke and Jihyun Shin, September 2008

The Dirigo Health Reform Act: A Case Study of Small Group Market Reform in Maine

Elizabeth Kilbreth and Kimberley Fox, University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service, August 2008

Individual High Risk Pools: A Case Study of the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association

Donna L. Spencer and Lynn Blewett, University of Minnesota, August 2008

Private Insurance Coverage: A Case Study of the Small Group Market in New Jersey

Dina Belloff and Joel Cantor, The Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, August 2008

Maine Field Report

Elizabeth Kilbreth and Kimberley Fox, University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service, May 2008

Minnesota Field Report

Donna L. Spencer and Lynn Blewett, University of Minnesota, May 2008

New Jersey Field Report

Dina Belloff and Joel Cantor, The Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, May 2008