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Health checkup: New year, new insurance options


Amy Kotlarz, Democrat & Chronicle

Is “not getting sick” topping your new year’s resolutions for 2016?

For individuals with no health insurance, the answer is likely yes. According to 2014 Census estimates, about 17,000 people in Rochester are uninsured, including 16.7 percent of young people ages 19 to 25, and 9.9 percent with a household income of $25,000 to $49,000.

For those struggling to afford health insurance even as they work, the new Essential Plan from the New York State of Health Marketplace is a low-cost, no-deductible insurance plan that offers the same benefits as other health plans. You must meet the requirements to enroll.

An individual can make up to $23,540 and qualify for the Essential plan, while a family of four can make up to $48,500. Depending on income, the plan costs range from nothing up to $20 per month per person, if you qualify.

Enrollment in the Essential Plan, Medicaid and Child Health Plus is open all year long. But don’t wait to get covered; there are increased tax penalties in 2016 for people who do not have insurance.

To avoid the tax penalties, individuals must have health insurance at least nine months out of the year. Enroll by Jan. 15 to be covered by Feb. 1. Open enrollment runs through Jan. 31.

Here are some tips to get you started:

Sign up on the spot. This year, helpers will be available for on-site enrollment at NY State of Health “Surprise parties” Sign UP NY from noon to 9 p.m. Jan. 15 and 16 and noon to 6 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Mall at Greece Ridge, 271 Greece Ridge Drive, in Greece near Best Buy Mobile and Charlotte Russe. Meet a Marvel Super Hero at the event from noon to 3 p.m. Jan. 16.

For the entire article, click here.