“New York stepped up and flattened the curve, but consumers are still feeling the economic effects of the pandemic,” Superintendent of Financial Services Linda Lacewell said in a statement. “Our No. 1 job is consumer protection and ensuring that quality, affordable health care is available to everyone in the state.”
The department noted that some insurers have been reporting record profits for the first half of the year, when elective and non-emergency services were postponed due to the pandemic and there were lower claim payouts as a result. Any excess premiums insurers collected must be returned to policyholders under the Affordable Care Act.
Next year the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will determine any rebates owed to consumers based on a review of all 2020 claims, the department said. It added that there is uncertainty about future claims, and profits reported thus far could be offset by higher than expected claim payouts in the second half of 2020 and in 2021 as procedures resume.
As for small-group plans, the department approved a 4.2% rate increase, the second-lowest in a decade. More than 1.2 million New Yorkers are enrolled in individual and small-group plans.
Last year health plans requested an average increase of 9.2% and were granted nearly a 7% increase.