Cornell Cooperative Extension to host health care workshops

The Cornell Cooperative Extension building in Westport

The Cornell Cooperative Extension building in Westport

— The new federal healthcare law will soon change the way businesses and employees obtain health insurance. To help farmers, small business owners and individuals learn about the new federal health care reform law known as the Affordable Care Act, the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Associations of Northern New York will hold free workshops at six regional sites in September.

Pre-registration is requested by Sept. 20. The Northern New York Affordable Care Act Workshops will be held:

•Plattsburgh: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 1 to 3 p.m., CCE office, Plattsburgh, Peter Hager, 561-7450

•Westport: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 7 to 9 p.m., CCE office, Sisco Street, Westport, Anita Deming, 962-4810

•Malone: Wednesday, Sept. 25, 1 to 3 p.m., 911 Building, Malone, Harry Fefee, 483-7403

The CCE workshops on the Affordable Care Act will address a wide range of questions including those about the Individual Exchange for sole proprietors and individuals and the Small Business Health Options Exchange. Cornell Cooperative Extension educators Kirk Shoen, Sandra Buxton, and Ashley Pierce are specially trained to deliver the most current information on the program.

Employers with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees will be mandated to provide workers with health insurance by 2015. Before the end of 2013, employers of all sizes must explain how to obtain health insurance to their employees.

Every individual in the U.S. will be required to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty.

“If you do not have health insurance, there will be a penalty of $95 or one percent of your annual income – whichever is highest on your 2013 tax return,” Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County Director Anita Deming said. “Some businesses may be eligible for tax credits if they are not in a mandated size category and chose to provide insurance for their workers.”

CCE is one of 34 organizations working in partnership with the Community Service Society of New York to help small businesses fully understand the new healthcare requirements. CCE provides equal program and employment opportunities.

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