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Letter: Health exchange will inflate costs

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that funding from

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that funding from the 2012-13 state budget will be used to repair infrastructure damaged by last year's devastating hurricane season. (March 27, 2012) Credit: AP

In regard to your editorial highlighting Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's executive order to create a health insurance exchange: It will not save money ["NY exchange a healthy step," April 9].

The reason there is so little competition for health insurance in New York is that burdensome rules and regulations drove out all the mid-size and small insurance companies. In fact, the regulation nearly drove the biggest insurer, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, out of the small-group market.

The exchange will create a bureaucracy, and no doubt more rules and regulations, which will add cost. Soon enough, New York will pass the costs along to insurance companies, and they will simply pass it down to customers in the form of higher premiums.

In the end, there will still be only the handful of companies competing, just like now. If New York truly wants more competition, we need to compare our regulations with those of states with more competitive markets.

I started selling health insurance 20 years ago. There were a lot of companies that sold competitive small-group and individual insurance back than. New York destroyed that marketplace with too many rules in the mid 1990s.

Cuomo should not operate outside the framework of the legislature concerning a health insurance exchange.

George LaGrange, Melville

Editor's note: The writer is a licensed insurance agent and broker.