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Tuesday deadline looms for state health exchange

New Yorkers who don’t have health insurance, or who have coverage that expires at the end of the month, have until Tuesday to sign up on the NY State of Health exchange for insurance that takes effect on Jan. 1. The final deadline for individuals to enroll in private health insurance for coverage starting after the New Year is Jan. 31.

The open enrollment period for the state’s health insurance marketplace for 2016 started Nov. 1. Enrollment on the small-business exchange, and for Medicaid and Child Health Plus runs year-round. The state Department of Health has not released a report on the progress of sign-ups through the exchange since Nov. 1.

Experts warn that the penalty for going without health insurance is increasing again, from $325 per person, or 2 percent of your income in 2015, to $695 per person, or 2.5 percent of your income for 2016.

The NY State of Health website, https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/, is open from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Customer service is available at (855) 355-5777 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. A network of navigators is available to help enrollees in person at various hospitals and agencies.