Empire Strikes Back
Empire recently announced that they will be re-entering the New York small group market in 2017. This is welcome news indeed especially in the NY small group market of 1-100 employees. Recently, the broad national networks have been diminished to only 2 health insurers, Aetna and Oxford.
There will be upcoming fall webinar in which we will share more about Empire’s new comprehensive product offerings and the ways you can partner together to bring a more valued health care experience to your employees. Please read the full announcement below.
We will be significantly expanding our small group products we offer in the New York market. Watch Empire President Larry Schreiber’s video announcement.
January 1, 2017, we will be offering a comprehensive portfolio of products and networks to the New York small group market in our 28-county service area. These additional product offerings will bring employers more choice and access, while providing you with competitive options for these groups.
Empire has participated in the small group market for more than 80 years. But in 2012 we began the process of reducing market share due to a cyclical inability to obtain necessary rate increases on our small group products.
However, a combination of evolving market dynamics has created what we believe is a new opportunity for us to work closely together again in the New York Small Group market. Three of the most influential factors are:
- The implementation of the new Risk Adjustment Model. This critical underpinning of the Affordable Care Act compensates health plans on a “net-neutral” basis for obtaining a disproportionate share of unhealthy, below-average risk.
- The definition of “Small Group Employer” has changed. As you all know, under the law, small groups have gotten bigger in New York and other states to include employers with up to 100 employees.
- Well-publicized carrier changes over the past 12 months have created the need for more options to help balance the Small Group market in New York.
With these in mind, since the start of the year, we have done extensive market research, worked with our regulators at the Department of Financial Services and built new small group market solutions from the ground up to address the unique needs of the New York market.
As you might imagine, this requires a strong combination of pricing, product and network. We are excited by this next chapter.