June 22, 2009

Assembly Passes Managed Care Reform Legislation

Comprehensive Measure Provides Enhanced Consumer and Provider Protections

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Insurance Committee Chair Joseph Morelle announced today that the Assembly has passed a program bill, introduced by Governor Paterson, to provide further protections for consumers and health care providers. The legislation also establishes regulations to ensure the prompt processing and payment of health care claims.

The lawmakers stressed the Assembly Majority's continued commitment to eliminating consumer frustrations and limitations to health insurance claims in New York through the bill (A.8402A), which is sponsored by Morelle. The measure eliminates coverage confusion at in-network health care sources and also grants health care providers the right to dispute the recovery of alleged overpayment by health insurance plans for services rendered.

"This legislation builds upon previous managed care reforms and goes further to address the difficulties encountered by patients seeking to obtain the care they need and by the physicians and hospitals that provide this care," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "Our goal is to provide New Yorkers with the level of care they deserve through sufficient access, ensuring equal treatment and guaranteeing timely payment to providers."

"New York's Managed Care Consumer Bill of Rights contains strong consumer protections, but has left many with frustration and significant financial harm when their health plans refuse to pay for services that have already been approved," said Morelle (D-Rochester). "This legislation will improve the processes for payment and make essential steps toward improving delivery of quality healthcare services for all New Yorkers."

The legislation passed today would: