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New Way to Find Affordable Health Coverage in NY

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 By Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NY, Contact
July 1, 2010

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Beginning today, New Yorkers searching for affordable health coverage or information have a new place to turn. It's a website for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Carrie Tracy, policy associate for , says New Yorkers and consumers in all 50 states can now learn about their health coverage options for both public and private plans - with the information all at one location.

"Ideally, this should make it easy for consumers to look at the choices that are available to them, understand what they qualify for, and understand how a policy will work for them, so they can make the best, most-informed decision."

For those coping with a serious illness, Heidi Siegfried, director of health policy for New Yorkers for Accessible Health Coverage, says the new site can inform them as to whether the specialists they are currently seeing are available under competing health plans, and what the costs would be.

"People with serious illnesses are often undergoing treatment and they need to know what the cost of their treatment is going to be, in addition to the cost of the premiums. So, they need to know what kind of co-pays they'll be paying for specialists, and other aspects of their treatment."

Both the government and the Center for Independence of the Disabled are gathering consumer response to the new website, seeking feedback on whether it is easy to access for people with disabilities, and if it clearly explains both private and public health coverage options in easy-to-understand language. The new site is www.healthcare.gov.

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