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Feds OK New York PPACA exchange plan

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York was given federal approval Friday to set up an online marketplace for individuals and small businesses to buy health insurance.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said New York, Kentucky and Washington, D.C., are the latest places given the go-ahead to create health exchanges and provide options geared to the uninsured under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Six other states won approvals Monday.

Enrollment through the exchanges is supposed to begin Oct. 1 for insurance starting in January 2014.

The New York Health Benefit Exchange already has a website running with information on eligibility, federal subsidies and how the plan is unfolding.

Task forces in five regions have been working on recommendations that take into account differences in markets across the state.

In an application for a federal grant to support setting up the exchange, New York officials said they expect a million people will get insurance through the program. That would reduce the percentage of New Yorkers without health insurance to 10 percent from 16 percent.

They also said premiums are expected to drop in small group and non-group markets, customers using the exchange will get $2.6 billion annually in federal tax credits and subsidies, and the state will save $2.3 billion each year in Medicaid spending.

The application said the operating budget for the exchange from 2011 through 2015 is an estimated $428 million, with much of that going to technology costs.


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