Ever Wonder why in a Metropolis of 25 Million there are maybe 5 insurers left?
New York Taxes – As published with the NYS Insurance Dept.
New York adds more insurance taxes than any other state in the country. These consist of both direct taxes and a number of “hidden” taxes amounting to a total of over $4.1 billion in taxes passed on to our customers in the form of higher premiums. These taxes include:
• NYS Premium Tax- this 1.75% tax is on all HMO and insurance contracts and is projected to raise $353 million for the State in 2010. Empire alone pays $103.9 million to the State in premium taxes (this amount includes a special surcharge for customers in the MTA service area).
• Covered Lives Assessment- this “hidden tax” is a charge on all fully and self insured “covered lives” and raises, statewide, projected to raise $1.16 billion for the State in 2010. Empire alone will pay about $296.2 million in covered lives assessments in 2010. The purpose of the Covered Lives Assessment is raise funds for a variety of state programs and for the state Budget. The Assessment is included in claims costs for purposes of calculating the MLR.
• HCRA Surcharge- this is a 9.63% surcharge on all hospital discharges projected to raise $2.33 billion in 2010. Empire alone will pay approximately $379.4 million to the State in HCRA surcharges in 2010. The purpose of the HCRA Surcharge is to raise funds for a variety of state programs and for the state Budget. The Assessment is included in claims costs for purposes of calculating the MLR. NYS Insurance Department “332” Assessment- while this assessment is legitimately intended to fund the cost of the Insurance Department’s regulatory activities there is a “hidden tax” whereby a large portion of the revenue generated by the assessment is used to fund other programs funded not directly related to insurance regulation and is projected to raise $270 million from New York’s health insurers and HMO’s in 2010. Empire will pay the state $57.9 million in 332 assessments for 2010.
Each of these taxes is increased regularly by the State and contributes significantly to annual increases in rates. The competition in the health insurance industry is already at a dangerous low level. Negotiating with insurers has become an overwhelming challenge in the large group market.