Posted March 18, 2014

The last chance to enroll in the federally mandated health insurance coverage is fast approaching and the Ulster County Legislature encourages all who are not insured, under insured or paying high premiums to make that call today. A health insurance marketplace was established by the New York State Department of Health and specialists are available to assist Ulster County residents in comparing their health care options and apply for coverage. The deadline to enroll is March 31, 2014.

According to the Urban Institute, in their Health Insurance Policy Simulation Modeling Report of 2012, there are nearly 2.7 million New Yorkers, under age 65, who do not have health insurance coverage. According to the United States Census, 10% of the Ulster County population did not have health insurance in 2012.

Legislative Vice Chairman Dave Donaldson reminds all, “It is time to set aside the national rhetoric over the Federal Affordable Care Act and make sure all eligible Ulster County residents enroll for health insurance by the deadline. For decades, self-employed and small business owners have been foregoing their own health care for the sake of family and business financial demands. This opportunity to take care of our local entrepreneurs should not be missed.”

Legislator Carl Belfiglio, member of the Public Health and Social Services Committee, highlighted, “It is important for families and individuals to visit the marketplace and view the insurance options, especially if you are uninsured or underinsured. The health of you and your family is of utmost importance and regardless of your financial situation, this is a golden opportunity. You owe it to yourself to check it out and you might just find it more affordable then you thought.”

The New York State Department of Health’s marketplace can be assessed online at http://www.healthbenefitexchange.ny.gov/, over the phone toll free at 1-855-355-5777 or in person at a local facilitator such as the Institute for Family Health’ s Care Centers located at 1 Family Practice Drive, Kingston; 279 Main Street, Suite 102, New Paltz; and 6 Healthy Way, Ellenville or by calling them locally at (845) 338-6400, 255-2930, or 647-4500.

Legislative Chairman John Parete stated, “I can’t see why someone is waiting to make this call. There are tax credits available to help lower the cost of health care and on the flip side, for those who elect to not enroll in health insurance coverage, there may be a federal penalty.”