Will Health Plans Fall 50% in New York? For How Many?

The NY Times has a front page story today claiming that health insurance costs will drop 50% in New York thanks to Obamacare. The story is being hailed by the left (more here) as proof that the plan is working.

According to the Times, only 17k people in New York currently buy insurance on the individual market. The Times claims  “individuals in New York City who now pay $1,000 a month or more forcoverage will be able to shop for health insurance for as little as $308monthly.”

But it’s not clear where where the authors got those figures. A spreadsheet published along with the story shows five different ranges (pdf) of plans labeled Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and catastophic. None of the plans have an average price of $308 dollars.

In addition, it’s not clear why the authors selected people paying $1000 a month as their point of comparison. Avik Roy notes that the average monthly price for individual insurance in New York is just $357 (in 2010). If accurate, that would suggest most of the people in the market (remember there are only 17,000 of them in the whole state) are paying a lot less than $1k a month.

I sent the following email to one of the authors to try and clarify the comparison. There may be good explanations for all of this, it’s just not immediately clear what they are. If I receive a response I’ll update the story.


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