I had the pleasure of hearing Elizabeth R. Benjamin, MSPH, JD, Vice President, Health Initiatives, Community Service Society, of New York, at a presentation she gave on the new insurance marketplace for the New York Chapter of the Association of Healthcare Journalists tonight.
Sorting through the changes is daunting, but I thought 5 facts she discussed show what might set New York State apart from many other states:
- Thus far, New York State has enrolled approximately one-third of the nation’s enrollees. According to Benjamin, 100,881 New Yorkers have enrolled of approximately 300,000 across the United States.
- New Yorkers have been accustomed to choice in health coverage, but on one issue, out of network coverage, none is allowed. Advocates are pressing to change that.
- As the marketplace launches, premiums in New York State have dropped by 53%.
- New York State has a more streamlined approach to getting financial help than many other states. If you are eligible for financial help, the marketplace will determine your eligibility early in the enrollment process. You do not need to apply for financial help separately.
- As of Dec. 12, two carriers (United and Empire) had not invoiced people who signed up, but both promise to bill people next week. Given that Dec. 31 is the deadline for paying your invoice, it’s making lots of people jumpy.
If you are still looking to enroll, many resources are available, including navigators to help you select your plan. Check out these resources:
New York State of Health: www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov
Community Health Advocates: www.communityhealthadvocates.org
For enrollment help, call 1-888-614-5400 tollfree.
Small Business Assistance Program: www.sbapny.org
Health Care for All New York: www.hcfany.org
You can also keep informed about the law, timetable, and changes here.
Find coverage: www.healthcare.gov
It’s been a bumpy ride. Do you think the marketplace will work in New York? Have your say in the comments below.