Niagara Gazette — An expert on “Obamacare” tried to simplify what some consider confusing new laws Tuesday at a forum on the Affordable Care Act held by the Niagara Falls NY Chamber of Commerce.
The lightly attended lunchtime event at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls, provided some explanation of President Barack Obama’s health care plan and the way it will impact the lives of New Yorkers.
“I’m going to make this real simple,” said Jonelle Marchese, the Buffalo area director of Bene-Care of Williamsville, who gave the presentation.
Marchese said small business owners in New York state can chose one of two ways to purchase their health care. They can buy it on the new New York state exchange or purchase their insurance directly from a provider as they have always done.
There is one caveat. The only way to get a tax credit is to buy insurance from the exchange, she said. “If you don’t go through the exchange, nothing changes,” she added. (The state’s online exchange page is www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov.) Small businesses may possibly qualify for a tax credit if they have 25 employees or less with an average annual wage below $50,000 and cover more than 50 percent of each policy.
WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE FORUM BY CLICKING THIS LINK:
“It’s really funny. With all the hub-bub you hear in the media,” she said, “that’s really all there is to it ... nothing has changed for the small business owner.”
Marchese’s company, Bene-Care, is the health care benefits advisor for the Niagara Falls NY Chamber. “Our job is working with the chamber to make sense of all of it for you,” she said. “That’s a service we provide at no fee.”