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Local News

September 30, 2013

Area readies for Affordable Care Act


The tax credits will be greatest for those with the least income.

For the mid-range silver plan, for example, an individual with annual income of $17,000 would pay only $55 per month for coverage, according to the Health Department.

State officials suggest those covered by Medicare may not need the new exchange, although they are still eligible to enroll in a plan offered by the marketplace. However, they will be ineligible for the tax credits and Medicare would be their main coverage, according to state officials.

There are incentives for small businesses to participate in the exchange. The state says businesses with up to 25 employees paying an average annual wage of less than $50,000 and providing health insurance may qualify for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. That can amount to up to 50 percent of their share of their employee premiums, and up to 35 percent for nonprofits.

Applying to the marketplace for one of the plans takes about 45 minutes online, officials said, while applying over the phone takes from 45 minutes to an hour. Among information consumers must provide while applying is their income total, the number of people in their household, their address and phone number and whether they have other insurance.

The open enrollment that will begin Tuesday will run through March 31 for individuals and families. In general, those who do not apply by March 31 will have to wait until January 2015 to buy coverage from the exchange. 

The web site for New York State of Health can be found at:

The toll-free telephone number for contacting the exchange’s customer service department is (855) 355-5777.

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