Call center ready for 'Affordable Care Act' questions

Posted at: 09/25/2013 6:42 PM
Updated at: 09/25/2013 6:44 PM
By: WNYT Staff

The clock is ticking down on implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

While it takes effect January 1, the doors for enrollment open October 1 and New York State says it's ready.

A call center is up and running where some 600 customer care reps will answer your questions.

They'll handle calls from both individuals and small business owners.

Under the Affordable Care Act, everyone is required to have health insurance.

There are some exemptions; and based on income, some people will qualify for subsidies to pay for their policies.

You can go online to compare the insurance options, which are available through what's called the marketplace.

Before you jump in, you should know your needs.

“So, as if you were shopping for some other item in a market where you can compare and make decisions based on comparing what's important to you. So, is price most important to you? Is the fact your doctor is in network most important to you? Is the price of your premium or co-payments most important to you? So you need to think through what your coverage needs are,” said Ann Vopel of the NYS Department of Health.

If you choose not to buy health insurance there is a penalty the IRS is supposed to collect.

You'll be asked about insurance coverage on your tax return.

The penalty for not buying insurance in 2014 is $95 per adult, or one percent of your income, whichever is greater.

For every uninsured child, the penalty is $47.50. The family maximum is $285.

That penalty increases in 2015.

For more info you can go to the New York State of Health website by clicking here.