Local Service Agencies Remind Residents Deadline For Health Insurance is Quickly Approaching
Local non-profit agencies, the County Chamber of Commerce, and Community leaders held a press conference yesterday to announce a final push to get uninsured residents signed up for health coverage before the March 31st deadline.
With a little more than two weeks to go before the annual open enrollment period ends to access health insurance coverage under the federal affordable care act, community partners including CAPCO, the Cortland County Chamber of Commerce, and the Southern Tier Independence Center kicked off the “Countdown to Coverage.” The campaign is intended to remind residents that they need to pick a health insurance plan by March 31st through the New York State of Health marketplace.
Lindy Glennon with CAPCO says her agency is one of designated partners that can help people with questions about coverage to get those answers and also help individuals and families navigate the insurance exchange and get signed up before the deadline.
As of February 25th over 500 thousand New Yorkers had enrolled and received coverage through the new State Health Insurance Exchange.
The Cortland County Chamber of Commerce has also been helping individuals and small businesses get signed up for coverage. Chamber Director Bob Haight says anyone with questions or needs help getting signed up can come to his office as well.
While March 31st is the open enrollment deadline, Chad Eldred with the Southern Tier Independence Center says there are exceptions built into the program. Eldred said if people experience what are consider life altering events they can still access coverage after the deadline.
Yesterdays event was put together by Citizen Action of New York, the lobbying group is also pushing to improve the health insurance program. Mary Clark with Citizen Action says they are pushing the legislature to pass the out of network provision to help consumers avoid surprise medical bills if they are treated by doctors outside of their coverage network. The group is also pushing for a lower cost health coverage option for the working poor.
If you would like more information on your options under the health exchange you can call CAPCO at 758-6781, the Southern Tier Independence Center at 724-2111, Family Health Network at 423-1198, Fidelis Care NY at 800-235-6412, or the Chamber of Commerce at 756-2814.