The deadline for most of us to apply for new health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (also known as “ObamaCare”) is Sunday, January 31st. If you already have insurance through the ACA, Jan. 31st is also the deadline to switch plans this year.
This is not the last day anyone can sign-up for ObamaCare. It’s the last day for “open enrollment” this year. If you have a qualifying “life event” that requires you to change your coverage you will be able to sign up later.
But for most of us, now is the time to act. If you’re uninsured or want to change your plan in New York, sign up today athttps://NYStateOfHealth.ny.gov/. If you’re not in NY, start your search at HealthCare.gov. You’ll be surprised at how affordable many of the plans are. The vast majority of New Yorkers who apply are eligible for state-funded Medicaid plans or significant federal subsidies. On the flip-side, many people will be subject to tax penalties if they remain uninsured.
This year, New York State has further expanded affordability by creating the “Essential Plan”, which for many low-income New Yorkers who make too much to qualify for Medicaid can be as low as $20 per month. Please note that there is no deadline this year for Medicaid or the Essential Plan. Details at:http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/EssentialPlan.
Health insurance is a complicated thing. If the application process seems daunting, I recommend you contact a certified Health Care Navigator (it won’t cost you a penny). In Lower Manhattan, you can find one at:
- The Henry Street Settlement, 281 East Broadway, (212) 471-2400,[email protected].
- The Chinese-American Planning Council, 165 Eldridge St., (212) 431-7800 ext. 260
- The LGBT Community Center, 208 W 13th Street, 646-556-9300,[email protected]
- Or find one through the NY State of Health site. You can also call NY State of Health at 855-355-5777 (but expect a long wait time there).
A few years in, the Affordable Care Act is a huge success – one that I am proud to have played a small role in bringing about. Well over a million New Yorkers have gotten health insurance through the law. More than 25,000 of them are here in Lower Manhattan – including me.
But too many of us are still uninsured. If you can help spread the word about ObamaCare to uninsured neighbors, please join Downtown East for Progress and others at a Healthcare Phonebank on Tuesday, January 26th from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM at 27 Union Square West, Suite 302. RSVP and info at:https://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/gsf7y7.
Living uninsured puts you, your family, and our communities at risk. Please take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity before the deadline. Thank you.
To your health!