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A Non-Profit Community Organization Helps New Yorkers Enroll in ObamaCare as Deadline Approaches

Patience Edet Goanue | 3/18/2014, 11:44 a.m. | Updated on 3/18/2014, 11:44 a.m.
The Community Healthcare Network-CHN will hold three health insurance enrollment drives in Long Island City, Jamaica and Harlem, for those ...
Screen shot of the Health Insurance Marketplace website.

The Community Healthcare Network-CHN will hold three health insurance enrollment drives in Long Island City, Jamaica and Harlem, for those who are not yet insured under the Affordable Care Act.

The act requires all Americans to sign up for insurance by March 31st or face penalties. An adult who fails to secure a health insurance policy before the deadline, will pay $95 or one percent of income – whichever is higher – on next year’s tax return. There is also a penalty of $47.50 for every uninsured child under the age of 18 with a maximum penalty of $285 per family.

The CHN is concerned that “time is running out to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act,” said the release.

“This is an important deadline not just for your health but for your pocketbook,” said Catherine Abate, CHN’s president and CEO adding. “Most New Yorkers must enroll in a qualified health plan this year or could face a penalty. Moreover, having health insurance reduces the astronomical medical costs that one might incur from a hospitalization if something should happen to them or a family member.”

According to HealthCare.gov more Americans every day are finding quality, affordable coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace website. Community Healthcare Network has however trained bilingual community outreach educators to assist and educate people on how to select the right coverage, said the release.

CHN is a not-for-profit organization providing access to affordable, culturally-competent and comprehensive community-based primary care, dental, nutrition, mental health and social services for diverse populations in underserved communities throughout New York City.

“These events aim to help those individuals who need more education on health insurance, the ACA, and the importance of primary healthcare. We hope people will come to learn and get the hands-on help they need with enrolling online,” president Abate said in a release.

To date, more than 5 million people have enrolled in Obamacare nationwide. Of that number, nearly 600,000 people have signed up for insurance in New York. More than 70% of those who signed up for health insurance using the insurance exchange – New York State of Health – had no insurance at the time they enrolled.

The enrollment drive in Harlem will take place at the Helen B. Atkinson Health Center on 115th street from 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm . CHN asks that you bring NYS identification, your social security card and four recent pay stubs. Non-residents, recent residents or those in the country legally are also asked to bring their green card, work visa or resident card, said the release. For more details check (www.chnnyc.org)

After March 31, the next period to enroll will be November 15th for coverage that starts the following year.