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State insurance exchange opens customer service center

The state's insurance exchange, a key component of the Affordable Care Act, has opened a customer service center to address questions from the public about the new health-insurance marketplace.

The exchange, recently rebranded as NY State of Health, today announced the opening of the center and publicized its toll-free number, (855) 355-5777, which is staffed 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

The hours will be expanded starting Oct. 1, when people can begin to sign up for insurance through the state exchange. Coverage purchased through the exchange takes effect Jan. 1.

The exchange is aimed at the uninsured, or underinsured, who don't receive comprehensive coverage through an employer, Medicaid or Medicare and can't otherwise afford insurance. Individuals and employees of small businesses are eligible to buy insurance through the exchange, and the federal government is offering tax credits to subsidize the cost of coverage for most exchange shoppers.

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---Stephen T. Watson


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