Countdown To Affordable Care

Aug 22, 2013

Credit NYS

With some uncertainty and much anticipation, New Yorkers join all Americans in preparing for a monumental change in the nation’s health care. Proponents of the Affordable Care Act believe it should not be feared, but embraced. They aim to set the course of public perception in a friendly direction.

Public health exchanges are scheduled to begin operations October 1st. They were created by federal mandate to make affordable health insurance available to everyone.

Predictions are that most consumers will see changes in their coverage. Elisabeth Benjamin, vice president of health initiatives for the Community Service Society of New York, contends that New York is the state that benefits the most under ObamaCare.

Recent news that United Parcel Service plans to remove thousands of spouses from its medical plan so they can find coverage via the health exchanges has caused much concern. The health law requires large employers to cover employees and dependent children, but not spouses or domestic partners. UPS expects the move to save about $60 million annually. On top of that, USA Today reports workers can expect more of this sort of sudden loss of spousal coverage under their employer's health insurance plans.

New York leads the pack in spending money on navigators--- $27 million so far. Seen as crucial to the success of the Affordable Care Act, navigators have been designated to quell confusion and address the fears associated with the new health insurance markets.

Kevin Jobin-Davis, executive director of the not-for-profit Healthy Capital District Initiative, concedes people have many questions about the Affordable Care Act.

Nationwide, there is a monumental effort being launched to enroll racial, ethic and other minority communities.   With a January 1 deadline approaching when most Americans will be required to have health coverage or pay a fine, the New York Health Benefit Exchange known as "NY State of Health" has posted interactive tools and information on its website to help people calculate premiums and benefits.