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www.healthbenefitexchange.ny.gov

New York insurance regulators have approved higher health insurance rates for 2015, though the increases are smaller than what the industry wanted.

The Department of Financial Services announced the new rates Thursday. They include the rates for the state's new health benefits exchange.

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U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has tendered her resignation after months of criticism over the rocky launch of the federal online insurance marketplace. The process on the state level appears to be running much smoother: Families USA, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit consumer advocate supporting the Affordable Care Act, is making recommendations to increase online enrollment. State exchange leaders participated in a conference call Thursday.

www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov

New York state health officials say more than 812,000 people have enrolled for health insurance statewide under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. 

Monday marked the deadline for open enrollment through the state's health plan marketplace, called NY State of Health. Residents can choose from plans from 16 insurers and 10 dental insurers.

WAMC Composite Photo by Dave Lucas

Uninsured people have a mere two weeks to take action and sign up for Affordable Health Care.

If you are not among those who already have health coverage through an employer or privately obtained comprehensive health insurance, the March 31st deadline for signing up for health insurance is drawing near.

3/12/14 Panel

Mar 12, 2014

    

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Mike Spain; Associate Editor of the Times-Union and University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao.

Topics include:
Jet Off-Course
Feinstein on Spying
Obama on Between Two Ferns
Disaster Care
TU Stories

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

The Empire State Pride Agenda announced the launch of its fifth annual LGBT Health Month this week. The campaign is designed to bring awareness to the unique health needs of the LGBT community. 

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A new "fee" tacked on customers’ bills by a Southern restaurant chain could be a preview of things to come.

Several Gator's Dockside restaurants across central Florida have added what they’re calling an "Affordable Care Act Surcharge" of 1 percent to all customers' bills. It is claimed that the surcharge will help pay the healthcare costs for their 500 full-time employees.

Some believe the move may be politically motivated, while others contend it demonstrates “transparency”: instead of just raising prices, patrons see exactly why they're paying a little bit more.

401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

In an effort to protect consumers from big surprise medical bills, the Cuomo administration has proposed extending out-of-network coverage requirements for emergencies and specialists to all health insurers in New York.

According to the state Department of Financial Services, the requirements currently apply to health maintenance organizations and 16 insurance plans in New York's new health exchange.

The state's new health exchange reports more than 800,000 New Yorkers have completed applications for insurance while more than 501,000 of them have now enrolled for specific coverage.

The health department says enrollment for individual and family coverage since October includes 276,681 New Yorkers in the 16 commercial and nonprofit insurers in the exchange and 224,524 in government-funded Medicaid.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Stressing that there's only about five weeks until the deadline to enroll for health insurance coverage through the New York State of Health marketplace, the Democratic mayors of Albany, Schenectady and Troy joined community advocates this week at Citizen Action of New York's Albany storefront headquarters to encourage sign-ups.

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