Updated: May 6, 2019
The open enrollment period for health plans offered in New York State is under way, and most consumers have until December 15th to enroll or renew for coverage in 2019.
According to New York State of Health, there's no price increase for 2019 for 95% of state residents enrolling in the marketplace. Bronze level health plans are free for people with incomes up to $25,000, and $50 a month with incomes up to $30,000, for those who aren't eligible for Medicaid or the Essential Plan, which is as little as $20 a month. Confused yet?
Tompkins County's Human Services Coalition and Community Arts Partnership held a free workshop this fall for area residents with questions, and Beverly Chin of the Health Planning Council tells us there are lots of resources around town if you need help figuring out what plan is right for you, or how to get the discounts you're eligible for to make healthcare as affordable as possible.
For in-person counseling, both the Human Services Coalition and Southern Tier Independence Center have "certified navigators" to help people enroll in health insurance plans. Call the Human Services Coalition at 211 or 1-877-211-8667, or the Southern Tier Independence Center at 1-855-478-4262.
If your income means you're eligible for Medicaid or the Essential Plan, reps at Fidelis and Molina will help you enroll, and they're required to be neutral. Call Fidelis at 1- 800-235-6412 or Molina at 1-315-391-5371.
Or there are several brokers in Tompkins County who can help consumers enroll in the Qualified Health Plans, or set up healthcare for small businesses.
Find all of this info and more details on wvbr.com, and all the official resources from New York State of Health at nystateofhealth.ny.gov or for other states at http://localhelp.healthcare.gov. If you're not sure you can afford health insurance, chances are you're eligible for a free or very inexpensive plan. The deadline to enroll for 2019 is December 15th.
Originally aired on Talk of the Town --- Saturdays at 5pm