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Deadline to enroll in health insurance looms

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Deadline to enroll in health insurance looms
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Close to 720,000 New Yorkers have enrolled for health insurance through the New York State of Health marketplace. Now there are just six days left for those of you who still need to get covered. Innae Park reports.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- With less than a week before the opportunity to get covered closes, the New York State of Health Director of Outreach says thousands of people are being enrolled daily.

Sherry Tomasky said, “We have increased the number of staff at the customer service center to meet the demand for the telephone calls. And that's something we will continue through the open enrollment deadline.”

Just last week, over 70,000 New Yorkers enrolled in a health care plan.

Individuals have until March 31 to enroll if they currently do not have health insurance. There are a few exceptions, like those who qualify for Medicaid or Child Health Plus. They can enroll anytime.

So can small businesses.

“The way that they access and use insurance is different than individuals. Small business, many offer insurance right now to their employees, and their current plans may not renew until July or September,” said Tomasky. “So they can continue through with their current contract and then come to the marketplace to find a new plan to offer when they're up for renewal.”

Most of us will need to be covered by next week. If not, then you may be fined for every month after the first three months that you're uninsured. However, there are quite a few exemptions where the penalty doesn't apply.

Even without consequences, officials say it's better to be safe than sorry. “People can't wait until they're sick to buy health insurance,” said Tomasky.

The next open enrollment period begins in November.
To enroll, head to: NY State of Health. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP