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OBAMACARE ENROLLMENT STARTS OCT. 1…ARE YOU READY?

Posted by Tim Murphy , August 22, 2013

OBAMACARE ENROLLMENT STARTS OCT. 1…ARE YOU READY?

Attention, New Yorkers with (or without) HIV/AIDS…and their service providers! October 1, enrollment starts for the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare. New plans or changes then go into effect January 1. The main website for this in New York State is here.

You should also be able to get info about this and find out if you have new options via your community health center.

So what’ll ACA mean for New Yorkers? Let’s take a quick look:

IF YOU’RE UNINSURED:

>You will be able to buy a health insurance plan for as low as $300 a month.
>If you earn below about $44,000 you’ll be eligible for premium tax credits that’ll lower the cost of your plan.
>If you earn below about $28,000, you’ll also be eligible for subsidies for things like co-pays and deductibles.
>If you earn below about $15,000, you’ll be eligible for Medicaid.
>You cannot be blocked from a plan because of preexisting conditions, and plans can’t screen you for age or health status to set a price. (This aspect has already been a longstanding law in New York and a few other states.)

IF YOU’RE ON JOB-BASED OR PRIVATE INSURANCE:

>There will now be a legal cap on how much you have to pay out-of-pocket.

IF YOU’RE ALREADY ON MEDICAID AND/OR MEDICARE:

>Not much will change for you except that, per the new law, your plan has to cover mental health to the same extent it covers physical health. (All health plans will have to abide by this change.)

IF YOU’RE ON THE AIDS DRUG ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (ADAP):

>It’s very likely you’ll be expected to enroll in one of the health-exchange plans but will receive the tax credits and subsidies listed above, with ADAP paying for what’s left over. Same thing if APIC is currently paying for your private health plan.

IF YOU’RE AN UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT:

>Unfortunately, no plans are available to you. Temporary Medicaid coverage is available in case of emergency (where you might die or be seriously or permanently injured), and you can access health care at community health centers. The New York Immigration Coalition is holding a town meeting on the lack of healthcare access for this group on Wednesday, Sept 4, 3-5pm at their offices at 137 W. 25th St. Email Paula Medina at pmedina@thenyic.org to RSVP and for more info. According to Medina, the new health law also contains a clause that strips federal money from hospitals to treat undocumented immigrants.

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