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Westchester Business Council To Host Health Care Forum

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The Business Council of Westchester is hosting a health care forum on what every business needs to know about the state's Health Benefit Exchange.

The breakfast event is at 8 a.m. Oct. 10 at the Crowne Plaza in White Plains. It will feature a panel of health care experts to discuss the exchange program, which begins open enrollment Oct. 1. The fee for the forum is $35 for council members and $45 for future members. To register, visit http://www.westchesterny.org .

Panelists include Danielle Holahan, deputy director of the state Health Benefit Exchange; Elisabeth Benjamin, senior vice president of the community service society of New York; and Mike Bodack, senior officer of York International Agency.

Shannon Pettypiece, national health care reporter for Bloomberg News, will be the keynote speaker. She will provide an overview of how New York and other states that are implementing their own health benefit exchanges are faring compared to those states that are letting the federal government set up their exchanges.

Among the topics to be discussed by the panel are key mandates of importance to employees; timelines of when the mandates will start in 2014 and 2015; tax credits available to employers that offer health insurance to their employees; new programs that employees without health insurance will have to enter in 2014 and the navigator program the council will start in October.

Under requirements of the Affordable Care Act, states must set up a health insurance exchange where individuals and businesses can shop for health plans in the private market. The council recently was selected by the Community Service Society of New York to serve as a “navigator” to assist Westchester businesses in complying with the nation’s new healthcare policy. As navigators, the council will be holding one-on-one sessions designed to facilitate enrollment of uninsured New Yorkers into the exchange.

This month, the council also will be hosting health care workshops for businesses on the following dates and locations:

* 6 p.m. Sept. 23: The Business Council of Westchester, 108 Corporate Park Drive, Suite 101, White Plains

* Noon, Sept. 27: Westchester Library Systems Headquarters, 540 White Plains Road, Suite 200 Tarrytown

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