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Do you have health Insurance?

The Healthcare Marketplace enrollment is open

Por Mariel Fiori
December 2014
Imagine this situation: it has been a few weeks, if not months, that you have had a sharp stomach pain, but it isn’t until the pain stops you from going to work or barely lets you move around, that you decide to go the Emergency Room to see what’s going on. Sadly, you discover a series of problems, including a rampant stomach cancer, which leaves you in the hospital for weeks or maybe even months. As the hospitals bills pile up and the doctors remind you that you should have had annual physicals(something you haven’t done in the past 15 years since you moved to the United States), the inevitable questions comes forth: Why didn’t you go earlier? And the obvious answer: because you don’t have health insurance. This sorry scenario isn’t a product of the imagination, but rather is happening currently, with large numbers of Hispanic immigrants (around 40% according to the Pew Hispanic Center) who still have yet to take advantage of the new Affordable Care Act (ACA). Here you’ll find a few key facts if you are looking to enroll to have health insurance starting in 2015.

With almost a million of Hispanics still without health insurance in New York State, it’s important to take the time to be informed on how to benefit from this new open enrollment period for the health care market place that has already opened and will end on January 15th.

Enrollment is open for those who already have health care and who want to change their plan (if you are happy with your current plan, you will be re-registered automatically) or for those who still don’t have insurance. A good place to start is the website ( for Spanish), and to see which plans or tax credits you qualify for based on income and family size. Thus, it is explained in the web page: “You may qualify for new tax credits to help pay for your monthly health insurance premiums. You may qualify for tax credits if you are an individual earning up to $45,900 a year or a family of four earning up to $94,200 a year. You may also be eligible for assistance to help pay for copays, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs.” Also, you must keep in mind that thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the cost of being insured has gone down by about half for people and individual families, and even more in cases where the family or the person is eligible for special credits that can make the coverage free. Additionally, it is important to remember that all of the information that you give will be kept confidential.

According to Isaiah Lopez, Community Relations with Hudson Health Plan (a privately owned group dedicated to medical insurance) there are 5 things that immigrants should know in respect to the available health insurance plans: 1) All healthcare plans should offer the same basic services-including pediatrics, dentistry, mental health care, prescription drugs, primary and preventative care, hospitalization, emergency room, among others. 2) You do have to be a naturalized citizen (or legal resident) to be able to buy medical insurance, but the children of undocumented parents could be eligible for Child Health Plus or Mediciaid. 3) You have to show a social security number, proof of age, and official documents about migrant status for each member of the family who applies. 4) You do NOT have to pay anyone to enroll you. Navigators and Marketplace Facilitated Enrollers must enroll you for free. You don’t have to pay at all just for signing up. 5) You can go to any healthcare plan and they have to sign you up in the plan of your choosing.

Do you need health insurance for yourself or your family

Did you know that there are many low cost or even free health insurance options available in your community? Please come to this event to learn more and to speak directly with a health insurance representative. If you are ready, you can also sign up for the plan of your choice. Refreshements will be provided.

Saturday December 6th from 11am to 4pm
At the Everette Hodge Community Center
15-21 Franklin Street, Kingston, NY

For more information or to sign up for the event, call Rose Quinn at (845) 331-5050x2228
Sponsored by Mano a Mano Ulster. Representatives from MSIN, Rose Women’s Care, Institute for Family Health, Fidelis Care, Hudson Health Plan, Planned Parentood, and many more will be there!

Translation by Keith Roscoe

La Voz, Cultura y noticias hispanas del Valle de Hudson

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La Voz, Cultura y noticias hispanas del Valle de Hudson



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