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From The Desk Of Assemblyman Charles Lavine

The Affordable Care Act 

 

As I was hosting a meeting on the evening of October 23, at the Syosset Public Library on the Affordable Care Act and the NY State of Health, New York’s version of the health benefit exchange, the Obama administration was announcing that those seeking to purchase health insurance through the new online marketplace will have an additional six weeks to do so without risk of penalty.

 

The timing really couldn’t have been better. Since October 1, when the NY State of Health opened, there have been some technical as well as emotional glitches as individuals and families attempt to find their way to the healthcare plan that best fits their lives. 

 

While the information provided through the Community Services Society, which leads a network of Navigators charged with assisting residents and small businesses within New York State shop for and enroll in health coverage plans, and the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, an assigned Navigator, was thorough, understandable and complete with examples, there were still people with questions that did not fit into one of the more simple explanations.

 

By visiting nystateofhealthy.ny.gov New Yorkers can shop for and compare health insurance packages online. The exchange also makes it easy for people to check their eligibility for health care programs like Medicaid and Child Health Plus and sign up for those programs if they are eligible. 

 

Some coverage will be offered for free or at a reduced cost through subsidies or tax credits. 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 annually. You may also qualify for Insurance Affordability Programs, including Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Advance Premium Tax Credits and Cost-Sharing Reductions, which can lower the cost of your coverage. 

 

Such an expansive marketplace can be daunting however, so it is important for people to reach out to those who can help; namely the Navigators. They are trained to assist you in multiple languages, in community-based settings and during non-traditional hours such as evenings and weekends. 

 

By visiting nystateofhealth.ny.gov or by calling 1-855-355-5777, you can find a Navigator in your area that can provide detailed information on the ACA and the insurance plans available in the marketplace that best suit your needs. They will work on your behalf or if you are more comfortable, you can designate a trusted friend, relative, partner or lawyer as an authorized representative to manage your application and act on your behalf.

 

Most importantly, have all the information you can so you can make an intelligent decision based on your needs. The extra six weeks should you give the time to do that. If my staff or I can be of assistance, please feel free to call us at 516-676-0050. 


News

Westbury High School students are teaching younger children from Park Avenue Elementary School valuable life lessons about money and business skills through the High School Heroes program.

 

In this program, high school students that are taking Renate Johnson’s Junior Achievement class will go into first grade classrooms to teach 45-minute lessons.

 

“It is a program that gives high school and younger students confidence and teaches them about business and financial literacy,” said Johnson.

The Westbury Historical Society will host Dr. Natalie Naylor, professor emerita at Hofstra University and author of Women in Long Island’s Past: Eminent Ladies and Everyday Lives at their next meeting on March 9. 

 

Naylor’s presentation will focus on the place of women in Long Island’s history, including several prominent women from Westbury’s past.  


Sports

Albertson resident and Kellenberg sophomore Gabby Schreib qualified for the Millrose Games in New York City. Schreib qualified as a member of the Sprint Medley Relay along with Danielle Correia, Bridget McNierney, and Jazmine Fray. 

 

The Kellenberg relay’s close second place finish in January’s Millrose Trials has moved them closer to defending the title they won in the same relay at last year’s Millrose Games. Schreib and her teammates time is currently second in the United States for girls track and field performances.


Congratulations to Westbury athletes Michael Esposito, Eileen Harris, Brett Harris, and Michael Going, each of whom won awards in Race # 1 of the Jonas Chiropractic Run Nassau Series co-hosted by Nassau County and the Greater Long Island Running Club.

 

Michael Esposito, age 15, took home the second place award in the 15-19 age group with a time of 23 minutes, 6 seconds.  Eileen Harris, age 42, earned the first place award in the women’s 40-44 age group.  She completed the race with her 45 year old husband, Brett Harris, who was the third place award winner in the men’s 45-49 age group.  Michael Going, age 41, scored third place honors in the 40-44 age group with a time of 20 minutes, 51 seconds.


Calendar

Los Lobos - March 5

Coffee House - March 8

Meet the Mayor - March 8


Columns

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