understanding the affordable care act

NY State of Health Deadline Pushed Back to Saturday

Dec 15, 2015

New Yorkers who want their insurance to start on the first of the year have a little more time.  

People seeking insurance on the New York State of Health Marketplace will have until Saturday to enroll for coverage that begins January 1st. State health officials announced Tuesday it would move from the original December 15th deadline to Saturday 19th.

The extra time will allow people buying insurance to further investigate plans. It will also help New Yorkers looking to avoid a penalty. The tax hit for not carrying insurance will increase in 2016.

One of the first physicians to recognize AIDS in the United States, Dr. Michael Gottlieb, is visiting Rochester on Thursday, November 19. He graduated from the University of Rochester in 1973 and did his residency at Strong Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Gottlieb will give a presentation titled "HIV/AIDS, from Beginning to End" at the University of Rochester. He gives a preview of that talk on Connections, and we talk about a new study that could be a bridge to an AIDS vaccine. Our guests:

  • Michael Gottlieb, M.D., associate clinical professor of medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA
  • Steve Dewhurst, Ph.D., vice dean for research, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Michael Keefer, M.D., head of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, University of Rochester Medical Center

A health insurance co-op that was scheduled to be shut down by the state due to financial problems will be closing sooner than expected.

Last month, the New York State Department of Financial Services (along with federal regulators) ordered Health Republic Insurance of New York to stop writing health insurance policies. Originally, the Health Republic would continue their current policies until the end of the year.

State regulators deemed the insurer’s finances in such bad shape they will end coverage by the end of November. 


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Flaws in New York's health exchange resulted in 21 dead people being enrolled in Medicaid and 333 getting continuing government-funded health coverage after they died, according to audit results released Thursday.

The state comptroller's office reported that its auditors found overpayments of $3.4 million for the year starting Oct. 1, 2013, when the exchange began operating. That included $325,000 in coverage for the deceased.


New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday an agreement with a downstate retailer related to a woman’s right to breastfeed. One breastfeeding authority says it’s a reminder that state law allows women to breastfeed anywhere they legally be.

Century 21 Department Stores were fined 5 thousand dollars and agreed to change their policies about breastfeeding. The settlement relates to an incident this summer when a mother was asked to take her child to a dressing room to breastfeed.

State Launches Ads Against Synthetic Drugs

Oct 26, 2015

The state is airing two new public service announcements aimed at deterring people from using synthetic drugs.

State officials say synthetics are more dangerous than some think. “But what we were hearing from young folks was they didn’t think there was any risk to using this. It’s fake marijuana. What’s the big deal?” says Rob Kent, general counsel for the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS).

The state reports eight times as many emergency department visits this year related to synthetic drug use.

One million Puerto Ricans live in New York State, and more are moving to the U.S. mainland every day. The island's population has fallen 4.7 percent since 2010. From its $72 billion debt to its health care crisis, Puerto Rico is in trouble. New York Assemblyman Marcos Crespo is the chairman of our state's Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force. He'll travel to the island next month, but first, he joins our panel to discuss why, in the words of Governor Cuomo, Puerto Rico's problems are New York's problems. Our guests:

$501 million dollars. That’s the price tag for excess medical costs associated with the high rates of obesity in the Finger Lakes, according to a study by Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield.


Two-thirds of the adults in the region are either overweight or obese. This puts them at greater risk for serious medical conditions and a diminished quality of life.

The problem is associated with higher risks for a number of chronic conditions, including diabetes, asthma, gallbladder disease, and depression.

New York Chooses Not to Adopt Obamacare Change

Oct 16, 2015

New York will not be one of the states to adopt a new rule change to Obamacare.


A law adopted by the feds early this month would allow states to redefine what constitutes a small and large business for health insurance requirements.


Originally, the Affordable Care Act allowed states to expand the definition of a small business to up to 100 workers.


But now federal officials are allowing states to keep that small business definition the way it is currently, up to 50 workers. And some business leaders support that decision.


Behavioral Health Conference Focuses on Poverty

Oct 16, 2015
Michelle Faust

Rochester Regional Health held their 20th annual Behavioral Health Conference Thursday. The focus was on providing health care to those in the community who live in poverty.

“What we don’t know is what solutions are going to best help certain people move out of poverty. What we know is that one size won’t fit all,” says Ann Johnson, director of ACT Rochester, an organization that gathers data about poverty in the region. She sat on a panel at the conference.