In 1993, the state of New York enacted a law that required insurers to issue insurance policies to residents regardless of health status, and restricted their ability to charge different rates based on health status or demographic characteristics. These changes were made without imposing a financial penalty on people who chose not to purchase insurance. As a result, health insurance costs in the state have risen dramatically, since those who choose to buy insurance are likely to be older, less healthy, or both.
As the graphics below indicate, purchasing an insurance policy in the individual market in New York is now far more expensive than in other states across the country—regardless of the age of the covered individual. (These numbers are based on regional averages from a major national insurer).