Schneiderman: Shop for health insurance at official marketplace, 'New York State of Health'by jmaloni
New York state health insurance exchange for new individual and family health insurance is open for enrollment
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today issued a consumer advisory encouraging New Yorkers to sign up for affordable health insurance now being offered through "New York State of Health," the official marketplace created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to purchase health plans made possible by the Affordable Care Act.
Enrollment for individual and family health insurance plans through the marketplace, or exchange, began Oct. 1 and ends March 31, 2014. The A.G. said the exchange helps more New Yorkers find affordable health insurance. One may be eligible for a tax credit to help one with premium costs. One can also sign up for Medicaid through the New York State of Health Marketplace.
But, as with all new programs, the A.G. said be careful. Make sure you deal only with the official New York State of Health marketplace, and counselors certified by New York to assist you.
The A.G. recommends one follow these tips to protect oneself:
•To sign up for health insurance, and for any questions, go directly to the official New York website or call 1-855-355-5777.
•Do not give out personal information to someone not connected with New York State of Health, the official health plan marketplace. Participants will be required to give out personal information when shopping for a plan, but should not do so unless working through the official marketplace or with a state-approved certified navigator. Certification can be verified here or call 1-855-355-5777.
•Do not pay anyone for help in selecting a health insurance plan. State-approved certified navigators do not charge consumers for their services. There are no fees to sign up for health insurance through the New York State of Health, the official health plan marketplace.
•Medicare plans are not available though the New York State of Health, the official health plan marketplace. It is against the law for anyone to try to sell one a marketplace plan if one has Medicare.
•Take your time and consider which health insurance plan is best for you. If you have questions, go to the website or call 1-855-355-5777.
•One can also get in-person help. To find locations, go to the website or call 1-855-355-5777. Beware of unsolicited offers of help.
•If you suspect fraud, call the New York State Attorney General's Health Care Helpline at 1-800-428-9071.
The health plans that will be offered on the New York State of Health marketplace are identified below. One may also buy a health plan not connected with the New York State of Health marketplace. The key difference is that consumers who purchase a plan outside of the New York State of Health marketplace will not be eligible for tax credits.
All plans must cover essential benefits, which include: doctor's visits; hospital stays; emergency care; maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance abuse disorder services; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services; chronic disease management; pediatric dental; and vision. Some plans will offer additional benefits such as adult dental and vision coverage.
The health plans that will be offered through New York State of Health, the official health plan marketplace, are:
- Affinity Health Plan Inc.
- American Progressive Life & Health Insurance Company of New York (Today's Options of NY Inc.)
- Capital District Physicians Health Plan Inc.
- Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York (EmblemHealth)
- Empire BlueCross and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Excellus (Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield in Central New York and Univera in Western New York)
- Fidelis Care
- Freelancers Co-Op (Health Republic Insurance)
- Healthfirst New York
- HealthNow New York Inc. (Blue Shield of NENY; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York)
- Independent Health
- MetroPlus Health Plan (Market Plus)
- MVP Health Plan Inc.
- North Shore LIJ
- Oscar Insurance Corporation
- United Healthcare of New York Inc. (United, Oxford)