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New York regulations aim to retain ACA provisions 'regardless' of federal rules

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed the state's insurance regulatory agency to require that health insurers not discriminate against residents with pre-existing conditions or ignore other protections created by the Affordable Care Act.

The new regulations, created by the state Department of Financial Services, would contradict federal rules in the American Health Care Act, the ACA repeal-and-replace bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, if the bill becomes law. The measures are intended to "ensure that essential health services are protected and covered for all New Yorkers regardless of efforts at the federal level to strip millions of Americans of their healthcare," according to the governor's office.

In addition, the state's Department of Health will ban all insurers that withdraw from offering health plans on the New York state healthcare exchange from future participation in any program related to the marketplace, including Medicaid. Those insurers will also be banned from contracting with the state.

Insurers will also be required to cover contraceptive drugs and devices, as well as medically necessary abortions, in commercial health insurance policies without copays, coinsurance or deductibles.

Insurers must comply with the regulations to maintain their New York licenses.