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State unveils name, details of health insurance exchange

State officials today revealed the name, logo and key details about New York's health insurance exchange, a marketplace on which individuals and small-business employees can purchase coverage starting Oct. 1.

Some key takeaways from today's announcement:

  • The state has named its exchange "NY State of Health," with a logo featuring the shape of New York state superimposed on a circle.
  • The state and the public-relations firms hired to promote the exchange will launch a major marketing campaign beginning Oct. 1, but a website featuring the new brand already has gone live.
  • Sixteen health plans, and 10 dental plans, will offer coverage through the exchange. A map showing which insurers are offering coverage where is here.
  • Different health plans are selling in different parts of the state on the exchange. In July, state officials announced that nine health plans would offer coverage in Western New York. The final list released today shows the seven health plans selling coverage on the exchange. EmblemHealth's GHI subsidiary will sell in this area off the exchange, while its HIP Insurance Co. subsidiary will not offer coverage here. The two EmblemHealth plans has the highest approved plan rates.
  • The exchanges are offering coverage at a lower rate than is currently available for people buying coverage directly through an insurer. The federal government is offering subsidies, in the form of tax credits, to further reduce the cost of insurance for people buying on the exchange. The state has set up a site to help people calculate how much of a subsidy they'll be eligible for and what is the bottom-line price of their coverage.

--- Stephen T. Watson

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