With the Obamacare website about to go live, there is added interest in details of the new Affordable Health Care Act, and how it will affect Central New Yorkers.
All uninsured are eligible, as well as people who now buy insurance individually, self employed and some small businesses.
Details of plans available and their cost, will not be public until Tuesday morning. That's also the first time that life insurance brokers and other support businesses will see details, and then only by invitation to companies that have registered to be involved.
The website 'will look like the expedia dot com portal' according to John Romancik of Benefit Specialists of NY, the company that works with CenterStateCEO to help businesses and individuals here make healthcare choices. It's actually two 'eschanges', says Romancik, one for people and the other for businesses.
How much healthcare plans will cost, will depend on income and the plan selected. For the very poor, and working poor, there are 'discounts' on the premiums to be listed on websites depending on personal information that's input.
Small businesses (employing under 50 fulltime equivalent workers) are not required to provide health insurance, but some of the plans may be beneficial to them, according to Romancik, because they will offer tax breaks.
Besides different categories of coverage, under 30s can also apply for 'catastrophic' coverage.
Helping people to sign up is another issue. At the Poverello Clinic, part of Assumption Church ministries on Syracuse's north side, they'll be bringing a 'navigator' in on free clinic nights the next several weeks, to help clients--mostly working poor--get signed up. They see over 2,000 people a year, who travel from as far as Oswego and Herkimer counties for health help.
Sister James Peter Ridgeo, a nurse who helped found the free clinic, says she'd gladly go out of business, but wants to make sure no one falls through the cracks.
Navigators are also available through the website that opens Tuesday morning.