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ALBANY, N.Y.-Employers nationwide have another chance to avoid higher surcharges on hospital tabs and other medical bills in New York.
Those that missed a Dec. 2, 1996, deadline to file an application agreeing to pay New York surcharges on hospital and other medical bills directly to a state health care pool administrator now have until March 3 to make that election.
More than 25,000 employers and other health care plan payers sent in the needed paperwork by the Dec. 2 deadline, in which they agreed to pay the surcharges directly to Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Central New York. These surcharges, set under a 1996 New York law, are used to help offset the cost of graduate medical education as well as indigent care provided by hospitals in the state.
The basic surcharge is 8.18%; employers with employees living in New York are liable for an additional assessment ranging from $4.69 per employee to $385.29 per employee (BI, Nov. 25, 1996).
But an unknown number of employers missed the first deadline. Since Jan. 1, they have been liable for surcharges that can be as much as 57.27% of hospital and laboratory bills their employees incur in New York.
Employers that missed the Dec. 2 deadline and want to qualify for the lower surcharge rates have until March 3 to file the necessary application agreeing to pay the lower surcharges directly to the pool administrator. That election, though, only would apply to medical bills on or after April 1. The higher surcharges would apply to health care services delivered from Jan. 1 through March 31.
Applications are available through the BC/BS of Central New York; e-mail requests to email@example.com or fax requests to 315-448-6786.