Required Health Care Reform notice to describe health insurance 'exchanges'

09/26/2013

Contributed by Cheryl Thomason

Current Ithaca College employees will soon be receiving a required notice about Health Care Reform. Benefit-eligible employees who plan to be covered by one of the College’s medical plans in 2014 will not need to take any action related to the notice.

Beginning January 1, 2014, the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Health Care Reform) will require everyone to have health care insurance or pay a fine. Individuals can get the required insurance through an employer plan (such as Ithaca College’s plans for benefit-eligible faculty and staff, or a spouse's/domestic partner’s employer plan), through a government program (such as Medicare or Medicaid) or through coverage they buy on their own.

The government's new Health Insurance Marketplace will connect people who are looking for health insurance to health coverage "exchanges" in their area. If you plan to be covered under one of the College’s medical plans for 2014, you do not need to take any further action. If you would like to explore Marketplace coverage you may, but there are some important things to consider, such as:

The information in the notice has no relationship to the College’s annual benefits re-enrollment process. The re-enrollment period will be November 11th through 12pm November 22nd. Information about 2014 medical plan options will be available prior to the beginning of the re-enrollment period through the Employee Benefits & Work/Life website at ithaca.edu/hr/benefits.

The Marketplace offers several kinds of assistance to help you better understand coverage options including online FAQ’s, online chat, and a toll-free call center (1-800-318-2596, TTY: 1-855-889-4325). Visit healthcare.gov to access the online resources just referenced.

New York State of Health is the Health Insurance Marketplace you will be directed to if you live in NY State. Their website is located at http://healthbenefitexchange.ny.gov/. Employees who live outside of New York State can find local assistance by visiting https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/.

Please contact the Employee Benefits & Work/Life department at 607-274-8000 or benefits@ithaca.edu with any questions about the notice.

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