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Niagara chamber to host Affordable Care Act forum

The Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce will host a public forum on the Affordable Care Act from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Conference Center Niagara Falls, 101 Old Falls St.

Individuals and businesses with questions about upcoming changes in health care are encouraged to attend the free forum to have their questions answered.

“As we all begin to navigate the waters of the Affordable Care Act, the new regulations for health insurance established by the state and federal governments, the tide is high and the water is murky,” Chamber Director Candra Thomason said in a news release. “Those of us who continue to receive health insurance coverage through our employers are swimming just fine so far, while sole proprietors and individuals are more than likely worrying and taking on water.”

Come January, health care reform requires all individuals to maintain health insurance coverage, with at least minimum essential benefits. Insurance carriers are redesigning all of their plans to include minimum essential benefits. Going forward, there will be two classifications for coverage: Individual and Small Group. This coverage can be purchased either through the State Health Exchange (otherwise known as the Marketplace), or through a benefit administrator.

Individuals, however, must go through an exchange. An individual is defined as anyone who may not have employer group coverage available and all people previously considered sole proprietors. This also includes an individual who “employs” only their spouse. Spouses are not considered “employees” and therefore must now enroll as an individual. Some individuals may be eligible for an advanced premium tax credit.

The Falls chamber is working with its partner, Bene-Care Agency, to help employer groups and sole proprietors. Next week’s gathering will provide more insight on the Individual Exchange, how sole proprietors will be impacted, the group exchange and what small business will need to do come Jan. 1.

For more information, or to RSVP for the event, call 870-5965 or 940-5238, or email [email protected]

 

 

 

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Scott Scanlon

Scott Scanlon

Scott Scanlon is an award-winning reporter and editor who has covered various topics in his quarter-century as a journalist in South Florida, Syracuse and Buffalo. He is aiming to pass along what he is learning these days about health, fitness, nutrition and family life.

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