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Health Care Seekers in CNY Face Several Different Deadlines that Need Explaining


  Deadlines are rapidly approaching for Central New Yorkers looking for healthcare. With the new Affordable Health Care Act, people need to be aware of rules and important dates that are looming. 

Should you be worried? A-C-R Health’s Community Coordinator Steve Wood doesn’t think so. 

“People are freaked out about the deadlines because they think if they’re not insured by Monday the 23rd that they’re going to have a tax penalty and they’re not at all.  The deadline on the 23rd is simply for insurance to begin on January 1st so you may not have a lapse in coverage”

Penalty deadlines won’t happen until the end of March 2014. If you don’t have health insurance by March 31st, that’s when you will face a tax penalty. That penalty will either be 1% of your salary or 95 dollars, whichever is higher. This Monday’s deadline is if you want insurance to begin on January 1st.


If you’re still panicked about all this, however, Wood wants you to know that you don’t have to go at it alone. That’s where patient navigators come in. 

“We can look at all the plans and show you what’s covered, how it’s covered, what your out-of-pocket costs might be, what your maximum out-of-pocket might be, does this plan work better than the other? And you make your decision that way.”

Wood says a lot of people don’t realize how state and federal tax credits can lower their premiums. Even those who already have healthcare and just want to come in and shop around are encouraged to call and make an appointment. Appointments can be made by calling 1-800-475-2430. 

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.