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New York announces new name for health-benefit exchange

The New York Health Benefit Exchange, the state’s health-insurance exchange under the federal health-care reform law, is now called “NY State of Health.”


Donna Frescatore, executive director of the New York Health Benefit Exchange, today made the announcement during a late-morning, online presentation.


DDB New York, a New York City advertising agency, developed the new name and logo and the accompanying advertising campaign that will launch in the fall, according to Frescatore.



NY State of Health is described as a marketplace for New Yorkers to buy “affordable, comprehensive coverage,” Frescatore said.


The exchange is preparing for the open-enrollment period beginning on Oct. 1, the period when New Yorkers “can shop, compare, and enroll in low cost, high-quality health plans,” she added.


The health-care reform law, officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, requires individuals to have health-insurance coverage as of Jan. 1, 2014, or pay a penalty.


In her online presentation, Frescatore also provided an update on the steps the health-benefit exchange has taken to prepare for the open-enrollment period.


The New York Health Benefit Exchange in July announced the navigator program, which provided grants to 50 organizations that will provide enrollment assistance across New York, Frescatore said.


“Training and certification of navigators begins next week throughout the state,” she added.


Hundreds of licensed insurance brokers have already completed training and others will complete their training in the coming weeks, Frescatore said.


In addition, NY State of Health has started the training process for its customer-service specialists.


“They will be prepared to start answering questions from New Yorkers in mid-September,” Frescatore said.


New Yorkers “can be assured” that they will have “qualified, training individuals ready to assist them in all areas of the state,” she contended.


Gov. Cuomo in July also announced approval of rates for health-insurance plans that will participate in the exchange.


Some of the health plans that will participate in the exchange include Rochester–based Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS), which is Central New York’s largest health insurer.


The approved carriers also include Schenectady–based MVP Health Care; Minnetonka, Minn.–based UnitedHealthcare; and Albany–based Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan.


To see what plans are available in their area, New Yorkers can access an interactive map on the exchange’s website,, Frescatore said.




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