Money-saving possibilities under new health insurance laws

Health Navigators can help if you don't want to tacke the NY Health Insurance Exchange website on your own

More Central New Yorkers could be saving money through the NY Health Insurance Exchange, according to a healthcare service provider that also says its navigators can cut through the confusion associated with the website.

ACR Health has recently expanded its coverage from AIDS-related to all chronic diseases, and has added help with the new health insurance options as part of its services.

Michael Crinnin, executive director, says the national headlines have scared so many into believing the system is a nightmare, which is why Navigators (personal consultants) can be helpful.

'Bring your costs down, that's what we're focused on,' says ACR's Community Health Coordinator Steve Wood. Get people insured, get them healthy and make it affordable, that's the bottom line.'

Among his money-saving suggestions:

~If you're paying more than 9.5% of your income for your share of insurance, the state's insurance exchange can lower your costs.

~If you have younger children, ChildHealthPlus should be able to bring costs down to $30/month or less

~If you have older children (19 - 30years old) you can take them off your family policy and put them on a qualified state health plan for savings.

Health Navigators can also help you look at your current health insurance and compare it to what's being offered through the NY Health exchange, and really help you understand what is and what is not being covered. "What you had before may not be quite as effective in treating your health as what the new options are," says ACR Patient Navigator Brian Ban Benschoten.

The comparisons will also let you see if plans allow you to keep current doctors or other medical organizations.

ACR Health will offer the free Patient Navigators through next spring. They can be reached though the website or at 1-800-475-2430. They are doing the signups at the West Genesee Street, Syracuse offices and at 22 outreach sites in their 9-county Central NY service area. Other Navigators are also available, see our previous story.