New York State gets further $185.5 million for health exchange

NEW YORK Mon Feb 4, 2013 5:41pm EST

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo talks about the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act in Albany, New York January 15, 2013. REUTERS/Hans Pennink

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo talks about the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act in Albany, New York January 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Hans Pennink

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York State will get another $185.5 million in federal grants as it moves toward establishing a health insurance exchange as mandated under President Obama's healthcare reforms, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement on Monday.

Cuomo, a Democrat, issued an executive order in April to push through a health insurance exchange after the state's Republican lawmakers refused to back it and before the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the so-called Obama-care program in June.

New Yorkers will be able enroll in the exchanges in October, where they will be able to compare prices, purchase insurance, and see if they are eligible for financial assistance, the governor's office said.

"The creation of an easy-to-use Health Exchange is an important step to reduce the number of uninsured New Yorkers and make health insurance more affordable for individuals, families and small businesses," Cuomo said in a statement.

New York State has now received $370 million in federal aid to establish the exchange, which it estimates will be used by 1 million people and small businesses. Coverage will start on January 1, 2014.

The state finances remain under pressure as does the governor. In January, he proposed a $136.5 billion state budget for fiscal year 2014, which attempts to do close the $1.3 billion budget gap.

(Reporting By Edward Krudy; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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