New York's Health Benefit Exchange, the insurance marketplace set to launch this fall as part of the Affordable Care Act, is ramping up efforts to get the word out before open enrollment begins. NY1's Erin Billups filed the following report.
Jay-Z and Billy Joel may not have been the inspiration behind the new name and logo of New York's Health Insurance Marketplace, but New York's Health Benefit Exchange officials are hoping to signal to New Yorkers that the new service was crafted with them in mind.
The name unveiling was launched via webcast with an introductory video on Tuesday.
"It is my pleasure to announce that the name of our state exchange is New York State of Health," said New York State of Health Director Donna Frescatore.
The video was the kickoff for the campaign to attract the more than 1 million New Yorkers that will be eligible for coverage come October 1, including uninsured and under-insured people between the ages of 19 and 64, along with small business owners with less than 50 employees.
"On average, premiums for individuals who buy their coverage directly will be reduced by 53 percent," Frescatore said.
Frescatore also announced the participation of 12 different dental plans, a new addition to the 17 insurance plans already approved.
Training is underway for hundreds of navigators, brokers and customer service specialists, who will walk consumers through the enrolling process.
They'll start taking questions in mid-September.
"All New Yorkers can be ensured that they will have qualified, trained individuals ready to assist them," Frescatore said.
Now, people can also determine what their premiums could be through the exchange as well as determine whether they are eligible for a federal tax credit through the online calculator.
"Over 75 percent of New Yorkers who buy coverage for themselves will qualify for tax credits to help them further reduce their costs," Frescatore said.
A map tool on the site nystateofhealth.ny.gov allows potential enrollees to determine which insurance providers cover their counties.
A separate web portal is currently being built and tested for the main exchange site to prepare for what is expected to be heavy online traffic during open enrollment.