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Adirondack Health Institute News

Special Enrollment Period for Uninsured New Yorkers Facing Tax Penalties

Impacted Individuals and Families Can Sign Up For Coverage March 1 – April 30

NY State of Health has announced a special enrollment period (SEP) for individuals and families who had to pay a federal penalty for 2014 and had not been aware or had not understood that they would have to pay a penalty for not having health insurance coverage. The SEP will start on March 1 and end at 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2015.

The Affordable Care Act imposes federal tax penalties on individuals who do not have health coverage. The 2015 penalty for those who are uninsured and do not have an exemption will be $325 per adult or two percent of income, whichever is greater. The 2016 increase will be $695 per adult or two-and-a-half percent of income, whichever is greater.

To be eligible for this SEP, individuals must attest that:

  • when they filed their 2014 federal tax return, they paid a penalty for not having health insurance in 2014,
  • they first became aware of or understood the implications of not having health insurance in 2014 when they filed their federal tax return.

New Yorkers need be aware that they will not be able to purchase coverage during the remainder of 2015. Consumers may be subject to a federal tax penalty when they file their 2015 federal income taxes if:

  • they do not enroll during this period
  • do not meet the criteria for other SEPs

Individuals who are eligible for Medicaid and Child Health Plus can continue to enroll throughout the year.

Don’t Fumble When it Comes to Health Insurance: Get Covered Today!

The big game is nearly upon us – watch this fun Super Bowl-themed video from NY State Health as a reminder that getting injured while uninsured can cost you an arm and a leg.  Don’t fumble when it comes to health insurance.  Take a time out now and call AHI at 1-866-872-3740 to make a free appointment with one of our certified navigators to get the coverage you need.  The navigator will coach you through the NY State of Health Marketplace sign-up process so you can find an affordable, quality health plan that will keep you safe for the big game and beyond. The enrollment deadline is February 15, so get in the game and score a touchdown before the clock runs out.

Plattsburgh Health Insurance Open Enrollment and Health Fair Day – Thursday, February 5

Don’t miss your chance to enroll in health insurance through the NY State of Health Marketplace AND learn more about other FREE programs in Clinton County!  AHI will be hosting an open enrollment event and health fair:

  • Thursday, February 5
  • Plattsburgh Public Library, 19 Oak Street
  • 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Health Fair – Free Clinton County programs:

  • Adirondack Health Institute
  • Girl Scouts of Northeastern NY
  • WIC (Women, Infants and Children)
  • Behavioral Health Services North
  • Healthy Neighborhood Program
  • Legal Aid Society of Northeastern NY—Nutrition Education Programs
  • Plattsburgh Public Library — tour the library and sign up for a membership

There will be giveaways, snacks and refreshments, and free raffle items.

Health insurance enrollment deadline is February 15! Don’t miss the deadline to enroll –  AHI will be taking limited walk-in appointments.

What to bring for enrolling:

  • Social Security numbers and birth dates for everyone in your household
  • Income documentation (Tax return and/or pay stubs)
  • Current insurance (Please bring your insurance card)
  • If applicable:
    * Citizenship documentation
    * Your online NY Gov ID

For questions or to make a no-cost appointment, please call 518-641-9618.

Saranac Lake Health Insurance Open Enrollment at Adirondack Medical Center

AHI will be hosting an open enrollment event at Adirondack Medical Center, Saranac Lake, Tuesday, January 13, from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

For questions or to make a FREE appointment, please call Jill at 518-641-9618 (walk-in appointments are limited).

AHI will help you enroll in Medicaid, Child Health Plus, or a qualified health plan through the NY State of Health Marketplace.

What to bring:

  • Social Security numbers and birthdates for everyone in the household
  • Income Documentation (tax return and/or pay stubs)
  • Email address and password (we can help set one up for you if you don’t have one)
  • Current insurance (please bring your insurance card)
  • If applicable:
    • Citizenship documentation
    • Your online NY Gov ID and password

There will be giveaways, snacks and refreshments, and raffle items.

Volunteer firefighters can apply for 100% tuition reimbursement

Great news for volunteer firefighters in New York: the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY), an organization that prides itself on informing, educating and training the volunteer fire service, is offering tuition reimbursement for up to eighty (80) credit hours  at a New York community college.

Called the Higher Education Learning Plan (FASNY HELP) program, student-volunteers are eligible to have up to 100% of their tuition reimbursed in exchange for maintaining their grades and fulfilling defined service requirements. They must also be a “member in good standing” in one of New York’s volunteer fire companies during both their school years and service payback period.

The application is on the FASNY website and the deadline to apply for the scholarship is usually in February. Contact toll free (855) 367-6933, or e-mail: HELP@fasny.com for more information.

AHI Enrollment Events to Help Meet January 1st Coverage Loss Deadline

While nearly 42,000 people in our seven-county coverage area lack health insurance coverage, a surprising number may lose existing insurance as of January 1st due to insurance company changes. The Enrollment Assistance Services and Education (EASE) program at Adirondack Health Institute is holding a number of Enrollment Fairs before the December 15th cut-off date for coverage beginning January 1st. EASE Certified Navigators can answer questions and schedule a NO CHARGE appointment to help you enroll in the NY State of Health Marketplace.

Tuesday, 12/9
CVS Rte 9, Wilton 3 pm—8 pm
CVS 216 Quaker Road, Queensbury 3 pm—8 pm
Kinney Drugs (multiple locations) 3 pm—8 pm
485 East Main St, Malone
288 Cornelia St, Plattsburgh
52 Boynton Ave, Plattsburgh
1588 Military Turnpike, Plattsburgh
7550 Court St, Elizabethtown
1954 Saranac Ave, Lake Placid
161 Carey Rd, Queensbury
Saturday, 12/13
St. Michael’s Church 80 Saratoga Avenue, South Glens Falls 10 am—3 pm

Please call 1-866-872-3740 for more information.

EASE Department Publishes Spring 2014 Newsletter

AHI’s Health Insurance Enrollment Assistance Services and Education (EASE) Department has published its Spring 2014 newsletter.  To read the newsletter, please click here:

EASE Newsletter — Spring 2014

Connecting Kids to Health Insurance Coverage

Don’t forget you can enroll your children in Child Health Plus all year long. Call us for an appointment with a certified navigator today at 1-866-872-3740.  And while you’re at it, check out this video from the Connecting Kids To Coverage national campaign.


What You Need to Know About Special Health Insurance Enrollment Periods

The last day for individuals and families to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan through NY State of Health was March 31, 2014.  If you missed the deadline, you will have to wait until November 15, 2014 to enroll in a plan that will become effective on January 1, 2015, and you may have to pay a federal tax penalty.  There are, however, a limited number of exceptions, called Qualifying Life Events, that allow you to enroll or make changes to your plan after March 31.  To qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you must notify NY State of Health about your Qualifying Life Event within 60 days of the event.  You can do so yourself by visiting nystateofhealth.ny.gov, or calling AHI at 1-866-872-3740 to make an appointment with one of our certified navigators.  Enrollment for programs such as Medicaid and Child Health Plus, as well as enrollment in the Small Business Marketplace continues all year.

Below is a list of Qualifying Life Events that would make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period:

* Loss of minimum essential coverage due to: job loss; divorce; death of a spouse; becoming ineligible for Medicaid or Child Health Plus; expiration of COBRA; or health plan decertification
* Marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption
* Gaining status as a citizen, national, or lawfully present individual
* Newly eligible, or ineligible for tax credits and/or cost sharing reductions
* Permanent move to an area that has different health plan options
* Marketplace staff or contractor enrollment error
* Qualified Health Plan violated a provision in its contract
* American Indians can enroll or change plans one time per month throughout the year
* Other exceptional circumstances.

Kahn to Appear on Adirondack Broadcasting

Phil Kahn, an Education and Outreach Specialist in AHI’s Enrollment Assistance Services and Education (EASE) Department, will appear on a public affairs radio program aired on several Adirondack Broadcasting radio stations at 6 a.m., Sunday, January 19.  Phil, interviewed by host Tim Celeste, discussed the Affordable Care Act and the New York State of Health Marketplace where individuals/families and small business owners can shop for and enroll in health insurance coverage.