“Well” blog of the New York Times: Health care is within reach.

Nice overview of the Health Insurance Exchange that is going up in New York. New York (unlike Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware) will have an Exchange that is run by the state itself—not by the federal government.

The blog post / article points out something that I’ve known for a long time: most of the people who will benefit from the new law only vaguely know about it, if at all. (Any number of people think it’s “repealed” or “overruled” or “delayed”.) It’s really unfortunate that the outreach, in the form of paid assistance to people in the middle class who could benefit, just isn’t there. It’s going to fall upon the financial advisor community to point out the availability of the federal credit, and hopefully this will all happen early in 2014 tax season, since Obamacare open enrollment will end March 31.

If you are a smoker and want to get a jolt, follow the article over to the Kaiser website, where they have a subsidy calculator similar to the one I’ve been pointing people to in California. Smokers can be (will be) charged 50% more for the various metal level plans. That 50% won’t be part of the federal credit. What it means is that policies will end up asking a couple hundred dollars more than what would be, if you didn’t smoke. I don’t think the Kaiser website is giving realistic policy prices, but even so, 50% is quite a load to have to pay, in addition to the cost of the cigarettes.