Healthy NY FAQ
FULL Rate and Benefits: 2014 Healthy NY
The goal of the Healthy NY program is to promote and provide affordable insurance coverage to eligible small businesses that are not currently offering health insurance coverage to their employees. It is also available to eligible uninsured working individuals and sole proprietors. Listed below are some frequently asked questions by small employers about the Healthy NY Program.
This program does not allow employers to participate if they have “provided” group health insurance to their employees in the past year. Under what circumstances is my business considered to have “provided” group health insurance?
An employer is considered to have “provided” health insurance if the employer arranges for group health insurance and contributes more than $50 (or $75 if the business is located in the Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester counties) per month per employee towards the premiums for coverage. If an employer has merely arranged for health insurance coverage for employees but has not contributed more than the previously noted amounts, then the business may still be eligible for Healthy NY.
What if my business has provided other health insurance during the past twelve months, but the insurance had limited benefits?
If your business has provided other insurance during the past twelve months, but the coverage included only limited benefits (for example – only medical benefits or only hospital benefits, but not both) then your business may still be eligible for HNY.
What if my business has not provided group health insurance coverage in the past twelve months, but some of the employees have been covered through other sources, like their spouse’s employer plan?
The coverage of individual employees through other sources does not affect a small employer’s eligibility to participate in the HNY program.
I have 5 employees. One is enrolled in Medicare and two others receive health insurance through a spouse. The remaining two employees wish to enroll in Healthy New York. Is my business eligible?
Your business would be eligible because the three employees who have other coverage count towards satisfying the minimum 50% participation requirement.
Why is this program available only to small employers who did not provide insurance during the twelve months preceding application? Doesn’t this penalize the “good guys” who struggled to maintain coverage for their employees over the past few years?
HNY was designed to target those individuals who were completely uninsured. These so called “crowd out” provisions of the legislation are also designed to ensure that employers and individuals do not drop existing coverage in favor of this new product.
If my business offers family coverage through Healthy NY, does my business have to contribute towards the cost of the premiums for my employees’ dependents?
No. Employers are encouraged to share in the cost of the Healthy NY premium for their employees. However, there is no requirement that the employer contribute towards the cost of dependent coverage.
Can my business offer Healthy NY coverage to my employees’ families?
Yes, the employer may choose to offer coverage for dependents through the HNY program. Qualifying dependents include dependent children up to age 19 and full time students up to age 26. However, it may be financially beneficial to employees to obtain health insurance coverage for their children through New York’s Child Health Plus program, rather than Healthcore. For more information about Child Health Plus, contact New York’s toll free hotline at 1-800-698-4543.
Is there a re-certification process?
Yes. On an annual basis, employers participating in the HNY program are required to submit a re-certification that attests to their continued eligibility for the Healthcore program. The employer’s health plan will notify participating employers of when this re-certification is due and will provide them with the necessary forms.
What if my business qualifies for HNY and things change? What if I hire more employees and it brings my workforce total over 50? What if some of my employees drop coverage and my business no longer satisfies the 50% employee participation requirement? Would the coverage then be terminated?
Mid-year fluctuations in group size, wage levels and employee participation will not result in immediate termination of HNY coverage. However, HNY requires an annual re-certification process at which time your business’ eligibility would be reevaluated. If your business does not meet the eligibility criteria at the time of re-certification, you will be unable to continue to participate in the program. Please note that the wage levels set forth in the eligibility criteria for the HNY program are increased annually to account for inflation.
Can my business offer coverage to part-time and seasonal workers?
Yes, employers may offer coverage to part-time and seasonal workers who work less than 20 hours weekly, but they are not required to do so. If they choose to offer coverage to these employees, the employer may choose to contribute toward the cost of their premium but is not required to do so.
Can I count the wages of part-time and seasonal workers in determining if my business is eligible for participation in the Healthy NY program?
Yes, the annual wages of part-time and seasonal workers may be included for the purpose of determining an employer’s eligibility if the employer also extends coverage to part-time workers.
Which employees must be offered Healthy NY coverage?
Small businesses must offer HNY to all employees working more than 20 hours weekly and earning $40,000 or less annually.
My child just graduated from college and will no longer be eligible to remain on my policy. Would my child be eligible for Healthy NY?
Students who are graduating from high school or college who are aging off a parent’s policy may be eligible for HNY if they meet the other eligibility guidelines of the program.
If I do not qualify for Healthy NY, are there other affordable health insurance products available?
Yes, there are several other affordable options available to individuals, sole proprietors and small businesses. For a list of other programs, contact information and general eligibility requirements, please visit Millennium Medical Solutions Corp.