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NY Ready to Help Consumers Find Best Deal under Obamacare

July 25, 2013

NEW YORK - Uninsured New Yorkers face major decisions on health coverage, and the deadline is fast approaching. The good news is, they will have access to plenty of personalized help in making their choice.

The Affordable Care Act is opening the door for up to 1 million New Yorkers to gain access to health coverage, said Susan Dooha, executive director of the Center for Independence of the Disabled-New York. She added that they won't have to go it alone.

"The Health Navigator Program is going to work with individuals one-on-one and help identify the right plan and identify the way to stretch premium dollars the best," she said.

New Yorkers will also get free advice as to whether they qualify for financing, she said. They'll even get help filing out the necessary forms.

In a major speech Wednesday, President Obama said health-care costs are growing at the lowest rate in 50 years.

Congressional Republicans say they will kill funding for major programs unless Obama removes money for the Affordable Care Act. Dooha says that move would deprive many New Yorkers of big savings.

"In New York, premiums are going to be cut in half," she said, "and we're very excited for people who can now go to the doctor without worrying so much about whether they can meet their other family expenses."

More than 40,000 people with disabilities lack health coverage in New York City, Dooha said, and the need is even greater statewide.

"There are about 1 million people across New York state who don't have health coverage right now," she said, "and we think that we can make a huge dent in getting those folks covered."

Dooha said CIDNY is one of 39 nonprofits and local community groups teaming up with the Community Service Society of New York to provide this one-on-one service. Fifty sites in 61 counties will provide assistance beginning Oct. 1.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NY