The New York State legislature has approved an increase in health insurance taxes to reduce the budget deficit, according to Alphonso O’Neil-White in the Buffalo News. Approximately $350 million worth of “patient services surcharges” and “covered lives assessments” (among other names for the fees) will be added to the already expensive cost of New York health insurance. There might be more to come: the upcoming budget for 2009-2010 looks to include about $420 million in new health insurance taxes and surcharges.
Alphonso states that the average NY State family pays anywhere from $900 to $1,500 per year of their health care premiums solely on these taxes! Also, these taxes make employers increasingly unable to afford to provide health insurance to their employees. More people will become uninsured and have to search for individual health coverage as a result.