3newhcbillsOn Wednesday, July 29th, the Governor signed three new bills into law that will create more affordability and accessibility to health care for New Yorkers.

Health Care for All New York, the coalition that is working for quality, affordable health care for everyone at the state level, and of which Citizen Action is a founding member organization, worked heard to ensure passage and signage of these pieces of legislation. From the HCFANY blog:

Wednesday in Rochester, Governor Paterson signed three health care reform bills designed to provide relief for New Yorkers in a time of economic crisis. Said the Governor, “The State is in a dire situation. When people lose their jobs, they often lose their health insurance.”HCFANY’s core role in the passage of these bills was recognized by the Governor’s office, which asked our leadership to attend and speak at the July 29th  bill signing ceremony. Read CSS press statement here.

The first bill signed into law expands COBRA eligibility from 18 to 36 months for those who have lost jobs or experienced a reduction in wages. This no-cost health reform measure was first proposed by HCFANY early in the 2009 legislative session.

The second bill creates an opportunity for 19-29 year olds (whose own employers do not offer health coverage) to remain as dependents on their parent’s insurance. This provision will help reduce the high number of the state’s uninsured young adults.

The third piece of legislation adds the requirement that HMO look-alike products extend Managed Care Patient Bill of Rights protections to their enrollees, as well as a mechanism for patients with rare disease to access specialized treatments.