Attending (18): April Dowd, Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Jim Leyhane, Dick Drumm, Terry Brewer, Geoff Brewer, Pat Bailey, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dean Calamaras, Len Leonidas, Carole Spencer, Debbie Rodriguez, Stewart Wagner, A.J. Amato, Charlie Foote, Jim Mendrysa.
Guests (4): Assistant District Governor Bob Van Alstine, Roberto Martinez, Maggie Forth, Jeremy Forth.
Program: 2 Views of ‘Affordable Health Care’
Dr. Roberto Martinez and Dr. Jim Leyhane teamed up to present “A Health Benefit Exchange Primer.”
Roberto, a former member of the SRC Club and recently retired from the NYS Health Department, showed a series of slides explaining the goals and provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — commonly called “Obamacare” — that went into effect this month.
He explained the New York Exchange,which offers two plans — one for individuals, one for businesses. The impact is that 1.1 million people will get insurance, but nearly 2.7 million New Yorkers under age 65 still do not have a health plan.
Roberto spoke about the Marketplace — that there is financial support, in-person assistance, and on-line help. He also explained the enrollment process and what is needed for the application. Open enrollment ends March 31; the next open enrollment begins November 15. He also displayed the Qualified Health Plans and Qualified Dental Plans available. Roberto discussed Metal Tiers which are bronze, silver, gold and platinum. There also a small business health care tax credit.
Jim interjected a number of points of contention about the plan, although noting that New York State’s role in “Obamacare” was among the best in the nation.
Both speakers answered a wide variety of questions about current plans and many other concerns. Dr. Jim Leyhane offered assistance and answered many questions from the group. Additional information is available by calling (855) 355- 5777 or linking online to the State Health Department at www.nystateofhealthcare.NY.gov
• Program coordinator Bill Dowd reminded us about the need to firm up speakers for meetings in the coming months. Be sure to check the club website for your assigned dates; you may trade dates with other members, but they must agree and Bill must be notified.
• President April Dowd read a thank-you note from Diane Leyhane for the award presented to her at the Holiday Party.
• April explained Catherine’s Closet, operated by Circles of Mercy in the City of Rensselaer, and asked member agreement that helping this social services operation would be the club’s third quarter project. The organization accepts donations of clothing for children and adults in need, along with household items. She distributed a packet that explained the workings of the organization, along with a donation form. The club approved the project without dissent. (The first quarter project was the book drive for Unity House; the second quarter was the “Cans In a Box” drive for three small food pantries.)
• Assistant District Governor Bob Van Alstine, paying a repeat visit to the club, spoke about upcoming district events, including Presidents-elect Training Seminars (PETS), the February 23 Rotary Birthday Party at the Hibernian Hall in Schenectady (admission just $10 per person), and the March 1 Rotary Grant Training that is mandatory for any club wishing to apply for a Rotary grant. Two members are needed for a club to be allowed to attend. Bill Dowd and Murray Forth will attend on behalf of SRC.
NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, January 16, at Quigley’s. The after-dinner speaker will be Kevin Ryan, president of the Albany Curling Club.