ALBANY – Although the Government Shutdown is drawing much of the attention to Washington, in Albany the state is reminding residents that the state’s healthcare exchange – a key component of the Affordable Care Act – is now open for business. In fact, during the first two hours the New York State of Health website was open Tuesday, it drew in an estimated 2,000,000 visits.
The overwhelming number of visits led state officials to post the following message on the homepage of the website:
“Due to overwhelming interest in the NY State of Health – including 2 million visits in the first 2 hours of the site launch – the health exchange is currently having log in issues. We encourage users who are unable to log in to come back to the site later when these issues will be resolve.”
New York’s exchange is where anyone can go to compare health coverage plans and prices, and to enroll in plans. The exchange offers a variety of plans from several different insurance companies, which will help to keep prices down.
Most Americans are required to have health insurance as of January 1, 2014. If you still don’t have coverage by April 1, 2014, you’ll have to pay a penalty. Those penalties start at $95/month for a single person, and $285/month for a family, and fines will increase every year for several years.
For more information on the New York State Health Insurance Exchange, go online to nystateofhealth.ny.gov.