Got Questions about the ACA? Ask the experts!

Chat with us, this Friday!

CNNMoney will be hosting a Facebook live chat THIS Friday, September 20th, to answer questions about the Affordable Care Act and to help Americans understand what it means for them.

HCFANY’s own Elisabeth Benjamin, Vice President of Health Initiatives at the Community Service Society, will be on the panel along with Judy Solomon, Vice President for Health Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Timothy Jost, health policy law professor at Washington & Lee University School of Law.

This is your chance to log on and ask those burning ACA questions!

The chat will take place between 2:30pm – 3:30 pm, so if you have time on Friday afternoon be sure to stop by.  For more information, visit the CNN Money event page by clicking here: 

We hope to see you there!

Lois Uttley White House LGBT Briefing

Members of HCFANY’s LGBT Task Force at today’s White House Briefing: Barbara Warren, Beth Israel Medical Center’s LGBT Health Services (left), Jonathan Lang, Empire State Pride Agenda (center left), Lois Uttley, Raising Women’s Voices (center), Elisabeth Benjamin, Community Service Society (center right), and Cynthia Nuara, LGBT Community Center (right)

We are ecstatic to share with you some great news: HCFANY’s own Lois Uttley (Raising Women’s Voices) has been asked to present the work of HCFANY’s LGBT Task Force at today’s White House Briefing on Obamacare and the LGBT Community.

Along with Lois, the event will include remarks by Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, as well as a presentation of new research on how LGBT communities perceive and access health care, and suggested messaging strategies for reaching key sub-communities.

Tune in now at: 


That insurance in the window

We’ve been telling you for months, heck – years – that health insurance will cost less on the health insurance exchange.  But, exact numbers? Well, that’s hard to say.   We know there will be premium subsidies (tax credits), but it will depend on a lot of different factors: what your income is, where you live, what plan you choose, etc.  In fact, unless you qualify for Medicaid, you probably won’t really know what the cost of insurance will be until you log onto the New York State Health Benefit Exchange on October 1st.

But, until then, the estimates of health insurance costs are getting much better.   This is largely due to the release of the approved monthly health insurance rates  for Exchange plans a few weeks ago, and the genius subsidy calculator put out by Kaiser.  The calculator uses an estimate based on average insurance prices in the nation.  But, by logging into the subsidy calculator and punching in some basic information about your household, you can see what the maximum percentage of income your family is expected to pay for insurance.  You can then compare that to the cost of the 2nd lowest-cost silver plan in your area (available here).  If the annual cost amounts to more than the % of income you are expected to pay, then the difference will likely be the amount of your subsidy.  I say “likely” because it doesn’t factor in all of the variables that will be taken into consideration on the Exchange, but it’s still a good guess.  That subsidy amount can then be applied to the cost of any plan (platinum, gold, silver or bronze) to get a final price.

Of course, not everyone who wants to purchase insurance on the Exchange will be eligible for subsidies to lower the cost.  But, a new report by Kaiser estimates that as many as 48% of people now buying insurance on their own would be eligible.  Either way, its worth a shot to log into the Exchange after October 1st to see what you may be eligible for.  You might just be surprised!

Here is the page (you might want to bookmark it): 



Health Insurance Exchanges are all the buzz lately, especially here in New York where last week’s news of a 50% reduction in prices on the individual market is still making waves.

To help boost the level of information out there about the Exchange and answer any new questions, HCFANY will be joining @MomsRising for a good old-fashioned tweet chat as part of #WellnessWed from 2 – 3 pm today.

Hope to see you there!