A lot of changes are coming for health insurance options due to the Affordable Care Act. New York State is implementing a marketplace where individuals, families, and small businesses can compare, price, and shop for health insurance plans. The name of the state’s marketplace exchange is New York State of Health.
Seymour Library is compiling resources to help the community understand the changes and provide information to help people enroll in the new program. Below are some links and information for learning more about the health care transition.
Key Contact Information:
The New York State of Health website is where you can sign up for health insurance. The website contains a lot of information, but if you have questions you can call the New York State of Health Marketplace. Their call center telephone number is 1-855-355-5777 (it is a toll free call). The federal government can also answer questions at 1-800-318-2596. Representatives are available to assist individuals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TTY users can call 1-855-889-4325. Live chat online services are available through the federal health care website (scroll down to the middle to find the Live Chat button). You can also email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you do not have health insurance or your health insurance costs too much, you can enroll in health coverage through the New York Health Benefit Exchange. Starting in October 2013, you will be able to shop for and enroll in health insurance through the Exchange for coverage that begins on January 1, 2014. Insurance plans and prices will be available October 1, 2013. NY State of Health can be used by individuals, families and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
Plans offered in NY State of Health will be available in four easy-to-compare tiers (platinum, gold, silver and bronze). Plans on the Marketplace will cover doctor’s visits; hospital stays; emergency care; maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance abuse disorder services; prescription drugs; rehabilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services, chronic disease management and pediatric dental and vision. Some plans will offer additional benefits such as adult dental and vision coverage. You will not be denied health insurance or charged more for a pre-existing condition. Preventative services are offered for no cost to you.
Select insurance companies are available to Cayuga County residents who are registering as individuals or families. These include Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, Fidelis Care, MVP, and Today’s Options (American Progressive). Small businesses in Cayuga County can choose between Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield and MVP. If you live or work outside of Cayuga County, look at this map to see which companies are available in counties throughout New York.
The federal government’s healthcare website offers a lot of good information about the health insurance marketplace.
Enrolling in the Program:
Participants can enroll either online through the New York State of Health website or by mailing in a paper form. Here’s what you'll need to sign up for health insurance. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services offer a checklist of the information needed to apply for coverage.
If you earn less than $45,960 as an individual or $94,200 for a family of four, you may be eligible for financial assistance that will make your coverage more affordable.
There are several ways you can save money in the Health Insurance Marketplace. How you save, and how much you save, depends on several things, including family size and income. The federal health care website points out seven possible discounts.
New York State of Health also has more information on programs designed to make insurance affordable.
NY State of Health will help immigrants get the health insurance coverage they need. This fact sheet details the program.
If you become Medicare eligible after purchasing coverage through the Marketplace, you can choose to keep this coverage as secondary coverage to Medicare. If you have Medicare currently and are looking for additional coverage, you probably won’t buy coverage through the Marketplace. Federal rules prohibit insurers from selling insurance policies, except for Medi-gap policies, to people on Medicare because Medicare provides comprehensive coverage.
The Institute of Medicine has put together questions and answers regarding health insurance options. It includes helpful questions to ask to figure out which insurance option is best for you. It includes information for the general public and also for active and retired military members, Native Americans, children, low-income families, and Medicare/Medicaid recipients. You can find the online brochure here.
How the Health Care Law is Making a Difference for the People of New York contains facts and figures (with links for additional information) regarding the new health law as it relates to people in New York from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides a national overview of the Affordable Care Act. The infographic describes benefits, protections, and other key changes.