State health insurance sign-ups increase
More New Yorkers have signed up for health insurance through the state’s marketplace this year than last, with almost a month still to go in this year’s enrollment period.
More than a quarter-million New Yorkers have enrolled in a plan through the marketplace, which is called New York State of Health.
The state health department says a fifth of those people are new enrollees — people who had not previously gotten health insurance through the exchange.
New York State of Health is a place to buy insurance for people who haven’t gotten it through their employers, or who want government assistance to reduce the cost of their health coverage.
The state health department noted a similar increase in year-over-year enrollment in December.
The numbers are notable because of a decrease in federal dollars that go toward advertising New York’s insurance exchange and helping people sign up for it.
The state health department says it’s taken up the slack and attributes the rise in enrollment to substantial outreach efforts.
The deadline to buy health insurance through the exchange is Jan. 31. There’s no longer a federal penalty for not having health insurance, but there is a tax penalty in New York state, which varies depending on family size and income.