Mandy Miller MPH'19 is in a New York State of Mind, Examining How Lawmakers Can Expand Access to Affordable Health Coverage
With a background in accounting and finance, Mandy Miller is used to crunching numbers and analyzing large amounts of sales data. But, as a student in Dartmouth Institute’s MPH program, she turned her attention to analyzing data on New York’s individual health insurance market and investigating what kind of policies New York State could adopt to create a sustainable health insurance system.
“What I appreciate about my Dartmouth Institute coursework is the focus on interpreting data and using it to communicate and make decisions,” Miller says.
Working with Peter Newell, director of United Hospital Fund’s Health Insurance Project, Miller used a variety of data to assess the condition of New York’s individual market, including risk score and premium data compiled by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, U.S. Census data on insured and uninsured rates and demographics, IRS tax filings on rates and demographics for penalty payments, and managed care reports submitted by insurers to the New York State Department of Financial Services.
“In working with Peter (Newell), I learned how to assess the New York individual insurance market under the provisions of the ACA,” Miller says. “For example, our research reveals that New York’s individual market is sicker—which is more expensive for insurers—and has higher premiums than most other states. So that is the challenge for state law and policy makers: how do they keep premiums affordable for New Yorkers?”
In October 2018, Newell and Miller reported on their findings in “2019 Shaping Up as a Watershed Year for New York’s Individual Market as Federal Challenges and Uncertainty Continue” for UHF’s HealthWatch Series. In the brief, they discussed how a statewide mandate, reinsurance program, and additional subsidies could stabilize the individual market. For her Independent Learning Experience, Miller is continuing to assess potential policy initiatives to provide accessible, affordable health coverage to New Yorkers.
“Health insurance reform has become a ubiquitous and urgent topic for voters in recent years,” Miller says. “The challenge of matching policy to evidence-based research is exciting because we can assess how policy can have a real bottom-line impact on families.”
POSTED 2/18/2019 AT 02:58 PM IN #practicum
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