Thiele: Stony Brook’s Refusal of Health Exchange Plans Is Unacceptable

In recent weeks, my office has been contacted by many constitutents regarding the fact that Suffolk’s only public hospital, operated by the State of New York, is not accepting any of the eight health insurance plans offered in Suffolk County as part of the New York State health insurance exchange. Stony Brook is the only hospital on Long Island that is not accepting any of the eight plans.

This situation is unacceptable. It is incomprehensible to the public that a state operated hospital is not accepting any plans that are being offered as part of a state operated health insurance exchange.

I appreciate the fact that Stony Brook University Hospital is in negotiations with 6 of the 8 plans and that Stony Brook University Hospital has taken steps to negotiate for patients on a case by case basis with health insurance companies. I also appreciate the fact that health insurance plans must provide reimbursement that is economically viable.

However, while hospital and insurance companies fiddle, it is patients that are getting burned. When families require critical health care and are at their most vulnerable, the State of New York should not be contributing to their stress.

If Stony Brook and the insurance companies cannot resolve the dispute themselves, I urge the governor to bring the parties together to resolve this situation now.

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