Assembly Candidate John Brooks Blasts The New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) 14.5% Proposed Rate Increase
Seaford, NY - John Brooks, Assembly Candidate and former member of NYSHIP's Participating Agency Advisory Council, blasted NYSHIP for its projected 14.5% rate increase for the 2011 policy year. Over the last two years, the former Director of Risk Management for Nassau County chaired a work group that successfully challenged the planned rate increases of the NYSHIP, and was able to get reductions in the planned rate increases, which saved taxpayers more than $350 Million dollars for the combined policy years of 2009 and 2010.
"Over the past few years we pointed out to NYSHIP they had a long history of requesting rate increases that were in excess of what was needed and most of the increase was declared a dividend at the end of the policy year, This year the plan is currently projecting a loss of $34 Million on a premium plan base of $5.9 Billion Dollars. As part of the discussion over the last two years NYSHIP has established a special retro reserve that has significantly more in the reserve than the projected $34 Million short fall. This loss is not only fully funded in the retro reserve but a significant amount of the reserve will be returned to the dividend pool at the end of the policy year.” Brooks said.
“The projected rate increase of 14.5% would translate into a premium increase of more than $850 Million. How can anyone say NYSHIP lost $34 Million this year so next year they need an additional $850 Million in premium. Seems like now that those of us who worked on monitoring this program in the past are not in the picture its back to the old ways of doing things," Brooks said.
“The NYSHIP program provides health insurance for state employees as well as many town, village and county employees as well as most of the school district employees in the state. New York State government as well as many local governments and school districts are facing very difficult economic times. The tax burden that has been placed on the residents and businesses of this state is already far too heavy. One of the key problems in government today is the fact that some of those in a position of leadership don't seem to understand that the people of this state cannot take anymore. The taxpayers principally pay for the cost of the NYSHIP health insurance program. In this years state budget we have already seen a cut of $81.3 Million in state aid for education to the school districts of Long Island. I would estimate that this NYSHIP rate increase would add at a minimum between $60 - 80 Million Dollars in addition expense that would be paid by the taxpayers. It's time for everyone in Albany to WAKE UP! If the folks in NYSHIP thought I was a fighter over the last three years they have no idea what is coming when I get elected to the Assembly," Brooks concluded.
John Brooks is the Democratic Candidate for the 19th Assembly District. The District includes Seaford, Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick, and parts of Freeport, Baldwin, Levittown, East Meadow, North Merrick and North Bellmore. John Brooks a past Chief and active member of the Seaford Fire Department, the Seaford Historical Society, a former member of the Seaford Board of Education, a veteran of the U.S Army, and was the First Director of Risk Management for Nassau County. He resides in Seaford and has one son.
To learn more about John Brooks, email the campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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