Insurance firms participating in New York’s health insurance exchange are seeking double-digit hikes for patient medical premiums in 2015. The average hike sought by insurers for individual plans is 12 percent—but a number of firms serving large numbers of patients want to boost individual premiums by nearly 20 percent. Leading the charge is Excellus Blue Cross-Blue Shield, which is seeking a 19.7% rate hike for it’s more than 24,000 customers. The even larger MVP Health Plan, with nearly 33,000 customers, is seeking a 19 percent boost. While some of the smaller plans put requested smaller rate increases or, in a number of cases, decreases, the largest insurer on the New York Exchange, Health Republic Insurance of New York —requested a 15.2 percent increase for individual plans. In some letters sent to customers, insurers cited requirements in The Affordable Care Act as contributing to the proposed rate increases. Officials of the The State Department of Financial services, which regulate the insurance industry, noted that the agency has final say over what the rate hikes and they plan to scrutinize these rate requests very closely in order to protect New Yorkers and ensure they are not subject to any unjustified rate increases.” A final decision is expected to be made by the end of August.
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The Oneida County Sheriff's Department is investigating a fatal accident on Stokes Westernville Road in the Town of Lee. They say a bicyclist was hit by a vehicle at 10:51 Saturday night.
The name and age of the bicyclist are not yet being released pending notification of the extended family. The driver, 33 year old Laurie Ceravolo of Ava was operating a 2001 GMC in a westerly direction on Stokes-Westernville Rd. when her vehicle struck a bicyclist who was traveling in an easterly direction, according to deputies. The bicyclist was ejected and sustained serious injuries as a result of the accident. He was transported by helicopter to SUNY Upstate Medical Center where he later died from his injuries. The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office was assisted on scene by the NY State Police, Lee Center Fire Department, Taberg Fire Department and the Lake Delta Fire Department.
There were plenty of things to do in Jefferson and Lewis Counties this past weekend. The most important for many, however, was signing a petition in support of Fort Drum. ". The Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization is hoping to collect thousands of signatures before August 25. That's when they have to formerly respond to a report recently released by the Army. That report examined what would happen to the area if 16,000 soldier and civilian positions were cut under a worst-case scenario. "The report projected a significant impact but it doesn’t go on to define that," said Carl McLaughlin, Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization Executive Director. He went on the say that "Without those 16,000 positions, 6,500 area jobs would be lost, This is a chance for people to sign on the dotted line and say we support Fort Drum and the 16,000 soldiers out there," Residents will have the opportunity to sign the petition all summer long at many events throughout the region.
A 64 year old Lowville man was charged with public lewdness on Saturday evening. Lowville Village police report that that Andrew Karelus (Ka rel us) was arrested after being seen allegedly performing a lewd act in his car which was parked on North State Street in the Village. He was issued an appearance ticket to appear in Village court at a later date.
State Senator Joe Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi have sponsored a bill which would establish a cross-regional small business partnership program. This program would encourage natural relationships between urban and upstate business. Brindisi said he began working on plans to connect co-packaging plants in the Mohawk Valley with artisanal food and beverage-makers downstate, which need more room to package their products due to increasing demand for their specialty products. The bill passed the Senate on Wednesday and the Assembly on June 2. It now heads to Governor Cuomo for his approval.
A 54 year old Lowville man has been charged with a violation of a Village of Lowville Ordinance. Lowville Police report that William Williams was charged with possession of an open container on public lands after he was observed allegedly highly intoxicated & drinking an alcoholic beverage out of a cup while hanging onto a sign post on South State Street. Williams was issued an appearance ticket returnable to Village Court.
We speak again with Arlene Hall from Mountainview Prevention Services, who has more on teen alcoholism.
We will have more with Mrs. Hall tomorrow.
The Lewis County General Hospital Auxiliary is selling geraniums. We spoke with Nina Gregory, who has more.
Once again the geranium sale will take place at the Nichols Building on the Lewis County Fairgrounds.
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