Health Insurance

 

LET US HELP YOU GET AN AFFORDABLE HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN

Who can we help? Individuals, families, businesses of all sizes, and sole proprietors.

For information on rates and plans, contact our our insurance specialist, Suzanne Casaday, at 315- 386-2107 or 877-228-7810, scasaday@stlawrencecountychamber.org, or stop by the Chamber office, 101 Main St., Canton.

We provide competitive prices, one-on-one consultations, and the latest information on state and federal requirements.



Questions About the New Health Care Law and Insurance Options? We Can Help With That, Too

Our insurance specialist can answer your questions about the Affordable Care Act and the New York State exchange, as well as assist you in choosing the right plan for your needs.

The Chamber has provided trusted insurance service to businesses for years, and now can also help individuals and families find a plan that’s right for them. Suzanne Casaday has been certified to work within New York State’s exchange, NY State of Health, for individuals and Small Business SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) and has the latest information on what’s available for St. Lawrence County residents and businesses.

She is also available to assist with Medicare questions, Part C supplemental and advantage plans, and Part D prescription plans.

Suzanne will be scheduling group informational sessions, in several locations throughout the county, in the near future, and is also available for one-on-one consultations by phone or in person. Contact her at scasaday@stlawrencecountychamber.org, or by calling 315-386-2107, or toll free at 1-877-228-7810 or stopping by the Chamber office, 101 Main St., Canton.

Here are some highlights about the changes to come, for employers and individuals…

 

NOTIFYING YOUR EMPLOYEES ABOUT NEW HEALTH CARE OPTIONS

The Affordable Care Act includes a requirement that employers notify employees of the option to use the new State Exchange. However, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that there will be no fine or penalty for those employers that fail to notify their employees of the exchange option. 

An excerpt from the DOL website (www.dol.gov) follows for your review.  It is a business decision on whether you decide this year to comply or not. You might decide to simply do so, even though not required. It is up to you.

From the DOL:

Q:  Can an employer be fined for failing to provide employees with notice about the Affordable Care Act’s New Health Insurance Marketplace?

A:  No. If your company is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, it should provide a written notice to its employees about the Health Insurance Marketplace by October 1, 2013, but there is no fine or penalty under the law for failing to provide the notice. The notice should inform employees:

* about the Health Insurance Marketplace;

* that depending on their income and what coverage may be offered by the employer, they may be able to get lower cost private insurance in the Marketplace; and

* if they buy insurance through the Marketplace, they may lose the employer contribution (if any) to their health benefits.

The DOL has two model notices (in PDF) to help employers comply: one for employers who do not offer a health plan (http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/FLSAwithoutplans.pdf)  and a second for employers who offer a health plan to some or all employees (http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/FLSAwithplans.pdf) *

The model notices are also available in Spanish and MS Word format at www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform .Employers may use one of these models, as applicable, or a modified version. More compliance assistance information is available in a technical release issued by the DOL and available at  www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/index.html .

* These notices are also available at the county chamber office, 101 Main St., Canton.

 

MUST EMPLOYEES/INDIVIDUALS BE INSURED?

Yes.  The EMPLOYER MANDATE has been postponed until at least January 1, 2015. The INDIVIDUAL MANDATE takes effect January 1, 2014. Individuals and their families MUST HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE AS OF MARCH 1, 2014 OR PAY A FEDERAL PENALTY.

 

WHAT CAN INDIVIDUALS DO?

There are a number of new choices for individuals and families, and many may qualify for federal help. There are even new, low cost catastrophic plans for younger people.

 

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN NEW YORK STATE?

Open enrollment in New York State’s health plan marketplace began on October 1, 2013 and continues until March 15, 2014.

Individuals earning less than $45,960 ($94,200 for a family of four) may be eligible for financial assistance that will make coverage more affordable.

No one is to be denied health insurance or charged more on the basis of a pre-existing condition. 

For more information on NY State of Health, contact Suzanne (contact info above) at the Chamber or visit the New York State website http://healthbenefitexchange.ny.gov/ .