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Health Exchange May Not Address the Needs of Low-Income New Yorkers


It’s been a little more than a month since open enrollment in the New York State Health Care Exchange ended. Some who work with low-income individuals are concerned the new healthcare law may not address the needs of all New Yorkers.

Christine Wagner is the Executive Director of St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center.  She says about 200 of her clients enrolled in the state exchange.  Many others chose not to enroll because they could not afford it even with subsidies.

Wagner is worried some people who did enroll in coverage before the March 31st deadline may soon find themselves without coverage if they find they do not pay their monthly premiums. Most insurance plans will be canceled after 90 days without a payment.

“We've waited the 90 days, 120 days, and we're seeing the reproductions of people who bought new policies, but haven't been able to maintain them,” said Wagner. “So, we're seeing the unfolding of some of the consequences of some of these new policies that people actually weren't able to maintain.”

Wagner supports the intention of the new health care law, but hopes some of the holes will be fixed before the next open enrollment period in November.