Health Insurance Laws in new York

New York has many regulations for the different types of insurance products that are sold in the state. Many of the laws and regulations are acts that have been passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor. Many of the laws and regulations that exist for insurance apply specifically to health insurance and related services. Many of these laws affect health of residents of the state in a variety of ways.

Health Care Proxy Law

Article 29-G of the New York Public Health Law or Health Care Proxy Law provides for a health care agent. The law states that a competent individual can protect the wishes of their health care needs by appointing a person they trust, such as a relative, to make health decisions on there behalf. This means that a health care provider must comply will the health care decisions made by the agent as they would for the patient.

Health Care Reform Act

The New York State Health Care Reform Act or HCRA is part of the financing laws for hospital reimbursements. The purpose of the law is to provide funding for a variety of health care initiatives available through the state. One provision of the law also requires that third-party organizations which pay health care costs be assessed a surcharge to help fund state initiatives. A recent addition to the law requires outside licensed health insurers to now have a covered lives assessment for accident and health policies sold in the state.

Child Passenger Safety Law

This law addressed the transportation of children and occupant restraint requirements that are needed for certain types of children. An upgrade to the law now specifies that a booster seat or other type of car seat for children between the ages of four and six. The booster or car seat must be used with a vehicle’s shoulder and lap belts. Children previously were not required to be in a booster or car seat but restrained by the adult safety belts.

Dependent Coverage

A law that goes into effect in September 2009 affects individuals between 19 and 29 who may not be able to afford health coverage. The law would allow children to remain on their parent’s group health insurance policy provided by their employer. Individuals would be eligible if are unmarried and do not have access to health insurance provided by an employer. The law would require families to pay the premiums instead of the employer.

COBRA Extension

Another law that goes into effect in September 2009 affects residents who have lost their job and are now on COBRA. The law allows residents to maintain their group health insurance coverage for up to 36 month. This is an increase from 18 months which was currently allowed. The law is retroactive for all residents from July 1st and is on top of the current federal COBRA change as the result of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act which was signed in February of 2009.