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Log in for Exchange announcement tomorrow

The New York Health Benefit Exchange issued an invitation to a special live online announcement tomorrow, August 19, at 11 am. We can’t wait to hear the big news, and you can join too at http://new.livestream.com/NYHBE/SpecialAnnouncement

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Join @hcfany for #WellnessWed!

#WellnessWednesdayHealth Insurance Exchanges are all the buzz lately, especially here in New York where last week’s news of a 50% reduction in prices on the individual market is still making waves.

To help boost the level of information out there about the Exchange and answer any new questions, HCFANY will be joining @MomsRising for a good old-fashioned tweet chat as part of #WellnessWed from 2 – 3 pm today.

Hope to see you there!

Obama on Obamacare

Obama on Obamacare

“Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers will soon be able to afford insurance.” – President Barack Obama

President Obama gave a BIG shout-out to New York in today’s White House speech, citing yesterday’s announcement by Governor Cuomo that insurance prices in the individual market are set to drop by 50%.

Of course, New Yorkers aren’t the only ones who will be saving money. He also noted that 8.5 million insurer rebate checks are set to go out this summer to people whose insurance companies have not maintained the minimum medical loss ratio.  These checks are expected to average $100 per family.  Even without getting rebates from their insurers, most folks are saving more money in medical costs thanks to the Affordable Care Act – $3.4 billion last year alone.

The benefits of the ACA indeed seem to be coming to fruition, something which even naysayers of the law will find difficult to deny.  The President boiled the effects of the ACA down to three things for all Americans: Better benefits, stronger protections, and more bang for their buck when it comes to buying insurance.  It’s hard to argue with that, yet today’s speech came on the heels of last night’s move by the House to postpone implementation of the ACA for the 38th time.

Keeping the Administration’s positive momentum going, just minutes after the speech ended, the Department of Health and Human Services released a report stating that prices on the new health insurance exchanges will be 20% lower than previously expected.  You can click here to read the new report, titled “Market Competition Works: Proposed Silver Premiums in the 2014 Individual and Small Group Markets are Nearly 20% Lower than Expected.”

Good news and positive national attention – I tell ya, that almost makes this heat wave bearable!

 

 

Huge health insurance price drop in store for New Yorkers

Hooray!

New Yorkers have a LOT to smile about this morning! The proposed health insurance rates for the New York Health Benefit Exchange have been released and show that prices on the individual market will soon be dropping by a whopping 50%.

This means that New Yorkers who currently buy coverage on their own, costing more than $1,000 per month in most cases, will be able to save thousands on health insurance next year without having to compromise on quality.

Health Care For All New York (HCFANY) had the pleasure of reviewing the proposed rates for the non-Exchange plans, which were released last month, and found the average Silver-level plan to be about $500 per month.  These same plans sold on the Exchange will be even more affordable for New Yorkers who qualify for premium tax credits to further lower costs.  You can read HCFANY’s comments on the proposed non-Exchange plans by clicking here.

The premium rates for all health insurance plans in New York can be found on the Department of Financial Services website.  As with the annual rate review process, everyone is encouraged to look over the proposed rates and supporting documentation and submit comments online.  You can find the proposed rates by clicking here.

The New York Times has produced stellar coverage of this phenomenon in an article out today, “Health Plan Cost for New Yorkers Set to Fall 50%.”  They have also posted a great document that shows all of the proposed rates for Exchange plans.  You can find that document by clicking here.

 

Healthcare.gov’s fresh new site

Click here to view the new site!

Last week, Healthcare.gov relaunched its website with a new look and a new focus on providing information related to eligibility and enrollment in the new state health benefit exchanges (or “marketplaces”).

The site now allows you to put in basic information about yourself to find out what types of health insurance programs or savings you may be eligible for come this fall.  There is even a live chat function to allow you to ask basic questions about how the Exchange will work and get them answered in real time.

The purpose for this face lift is to get information out to the masses to prepare them for the changes that are coming this fall, and the decisions they will need to make around health insurance starting October 1st.

You can check out the new site at the same URL: www.healthcare.gov (or in Spanish at www.cuidadodesalud.gov).  To learn more about the changes made, click here to check out the press release issued by HHS.

 

Get Covered NY reaches uninsured people at NYC PrideFest

HCFANY table at PrideFest

Raising Women’s Voices summer interns Delaine Powerful, left, and Olivia Cappello, at the Get Covered New York booth Sunday during NYC’s Pride Fest.
Today’s post comes from guest blogger Lois Uttley, of Raising Women’s Voices

Health equality for LGBT New Yorkers! That was the message Sunday at the Get Covered New York booth during NYC’s annual PrideFest celebration.

Staffers and interns from Health Care for All NY (HCFANY) member organizations teamed up with volunteers from NYC for Action under the banner of Get Covered NY to bring LGBT New Yorkers the great news about new, more affordable health coverage options coming this fall. One in four LGBT New Yorkers has no health insurance, and LGBT people suffer a variety of health disparities.

When the New York State Health Exchange opens for enrollment October 1, uninsured New Yorkers will be able to apply for free or low-cost coverage under an expanded Medicaid program, or financial aid to help with the cost of a private health insurance plan. “Really? I had no idea!” exclaimed one excited woman who stopped by the Get Covered NY table Sunday.

LGBT New Yorkers were especially happy to learn that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited under the Affordable Care Act. That means no discrimination in the New York State Exchange and in the health plans to be offered to participating insurers.

HCFANY’s LGBT Task Force will be speaking to LGBT organizations around the state and tabling at community events throughout the summer and fall. If you would like to request a presentation or participation in an event, please contact info@raisingwomensvoices.net.

 

HCFANY launches effort to reach uninsured LGBT New Yorkers

June 20, 2013 Press Briefing

From left: David Sandman - New York State Health Foundation, Mark Hannay – Metro NY Health Care For All Campaign, Kellan Baker – Center for American Progress, and Lois Uttley – Raising Women’s Voices.

 HCFANY launched a new campaign today to provide outreach and education to uninsured LGBT New Yorkers around the new health options that will soon be available via the New York State Health Benefit Exchange.  While health statistics on LGBT populations are not yet widely collected (something we are pushing to change) experts estimate that 1 in 4 LGBT people in the state are uninsured.

The outreach campaign will be headed up by HCFANY’s LGBT Task Force to help prepare people for the health insurance choices they may need to make once enrollment on the Exchange opens on October 1st.

The campaign was kicked off by a press briefing hosted by the New York State Health Foundation to bring attention to the unique needs of LGBT New Yorkers, illustrate how the Affordable Care Act is working to address them, and to lay out next steps.

Speakers included:

  • Kellan Baker, Director, LGBT State Exchanges Project, Center for American Progress
  • Megan Fisk, Director of Family Services, LGBT Community Services Center of New York
  • Mark Hannay, Director, Metro New York Health Care For All Campaign
  • Jonathan Lang, Director of Governmental Projects and Community
    Development, Empire State Pride Agenda
  • Jay Laudato, Executive Director, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
  • David Sandman, Senior Vice President, New York State Health Foundation
  • Lois Uttley, Director, Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need

The new coverage options afforded by the ACA will benefit LGBT communities by providing wider access to affordable health care, increased data collection (which will work to inform future policy decisions), and a new ban on discrimination based on HIV status and sex, including gender identity.

The LGBT Task Force has been working with state Exchange officials to make sure that same-sex couples have the same opportunities for affordable health coverage.  This includes allowing couples to pool their premium subsidies together to purchase family health plans on the Exchange.

Outreach will start at the June 30 PrideFest in Manhattan, and continue through the summer and fall.

Click here to read a copy of HCFANY’s press release from today.

 

 

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