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Today is the first day to enroll for the NY State of Health as part of the Affordable Care Act. 

Health plans will become effective Jan. 1 for anyone who signs up before Dec. 15. 

About 280,000 uninsured residents from the state of New York are expected to take advantage of the new state plan, including 5-6,000 here in Genesee County.

County Manager Jay Gsell says research is critical.

“We can start helping people,” he said. “We may not have all the answers -- in fact I’m not sure all the answers are out there yet -- but at this point it’s the law of the land, and we follow the guidance as well as the mandates that come with federal legislation like this.”

The county Office for the Aging, Department of Social Services, and the Health Department will team up to facilitate information and help residents make the best healthcare decision. There are also two designated navigator programs to assist residents: Community Action on Clinton Street Road and Lake Plains Community Care Network located at 575 E. Main St. in the Aldi Plaza. (correction from earlier post)

Gsell says the county is ready to take on the healthcare transition.

“The federal law is out there; the federal mandate has been in place since it was passed at the federal level months ago,” he said. “The question is always, ‘How prepared are we? How much information do we have? How much clarity can we get from the state and the federal government as to what’s out there and who we can help inform?’”

Go to NYstateofhealth.ny.gov for more information. Be aware though there have been interruptions on the site due to heavy traffic. You can also call (855) 355-5777.

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