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Sign up for a health insurance plan by December 23rd or face penalties

By GARY LIBERATORE

(WKTV) - The deadline to sign up for a health insurance plan under the much talked about Affordable Care Act (ACA) in order for the coverage to take effect beginning on January 1st and avoid penalties is December 23rd.

Under the ACA, there are penalties for any months you do not have coverage beginning in 2014.

Here's the breakdown,

In 2014, the annual penalty will be $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, up to a family maximum of $285 or 1 percent of family income, whichever is greater.

In 2015, the penalty will be $325 per adult and $162.50 per child, up to a family maximum of $975 or 2 percent of family income, whichever is greater.

In 2016, the penalty will be $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, up to a family maximum of $2,085 or 2.5 percent of family income, whichever is greater.

These amounts are for the entire year, so you would just divide the above numbers by 12 for each month that you do not have coverage.

The federal government created positions called patient navigators to help Americans navigate through the process of selecting a healthcare plan.

Those patient navigators are positioned at selected not-for profit agencies across the country, including at A-C-R Health here in Central New York.

There are two such patient navigators at the Access Care and Resources Health (known as ACR Health) office on Columbia St. in Utica.

Melissa Clarke of Utica is one of those two.

She says her and her fellow patient navigator's schedules are booked with appointments here in at the Utica location right through the December 23rd deadline, "Some days we'll stay late because people can't get out of work, but that's why we're here for, if we're here late, so be it."

Clarke says four patient navigators from the ACR Health office in Syracuse will be in Utica next week to help with the case load here.

There are patient navigators at selected not for profits across Upstate New York.



Here is a contact list for information and to set up appointments:

ACR Health (800) 475-2430 Utica Oneida County

Planned Parenthood - Utica (800) 475-2430 Utica Oneida County

Planned Parenthood - Rome (800) 475-2430 Rome Oneida County

Herkimer County Department of Social Services (800) 475-2430, Herkimer Herkimer County

Catholic Charities (800) 475-2430 Ilion, Herkimer County

Community Action Partnership (800) 475-2430 Morrisville Madison County

Madison County Department of Social Services (800) 475-2430 Wampsville Madison County

Madison County Public Health (800) 475-2430 Wampsville Madison County

To set up an appointment, call the number above, and reference the specific location you are looking for.

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