NY State of Health extends enrollment deadline for January 1 coverage!

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New Yorkers have five more days to enroll in January 1 coverage! On Friday, the NY State of Health extended the Dec 15 enrollment deadline to December 20 for coverage that begins January 1.

Remember that this deadline only applies to coverage that begins January 1. New Yorkers can still enroll in NY State of Health coverage beginning in February or March up until February 15, 2015 – by January 15 for coverage starting February 1, and by February 15 for coverage starting March 1. New Yorkers can enroll online, by phone, and get in-person help to enroll from an enrollment assistor.

It’s looking like another good year for affordable, quality health insurance thanks to the ACA. Nearly 155,000 New Yorkers have newly enrolled in coverage through the Marketplace since the start of open enrollment on November 15 . That’s in addition to the many who are renewing last year’s coverage. You can find stories from New Yorkers who enrolled last year in our recently released story booklet: The ACA is Working: New Yorkers Tell Their Stories.

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“The Affordable Care Act gave me a chance and ended my six year nightmare of living without health insurance. It was way more simple and affordable than people think.”

-Karen E., Ulster County

The Affordable Care Act is working in New York, according to HCFANY’s new publication, The ACA is Working: New Yorkers Tell Their Stories.

The new publication shares stories from New Yorkers like Karen, a single mother from Ulster County, who was finally able to get affordable health coverage for her family after being uninsured for six years, thanks to federal subsidies. Ben, from Broome county got covered thanks to the ACA’s Medicaid Expansion and enrolled in the same plan as his son. And Engracia got help from a local Navigator to enroll in a plan that saves her $4,500 a year.

The ACA is Working: New Yorkers Tell Their Stories features twelve consumer stories and quotes from New Yorkers in all regions of the State who enrolled in private Qualified Health Plans, Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and small business plans, all through the NY State of Health Marketplace during the first Open Enrollment period. Many got help to enroll from Navigators, who offer free, unbiased, in-person enrollment help. The stories are paired with key statistics and facts about how the ACA is working for New York – and most importantly, New Yorkers.

View HCFANY’s full press release here.

This post is part of a two-part blog series on unaccompanied minors in New York. View the first post here. Last month, the Children’s Defense Fund – New York and the Health Care for All NY coalition presented two webinars on unaccompanied minors and access to health services.  The full recordings and materials for Unaccompanied Minors and Health Care Access and Unaccompanied Minors and Behavioral Health Services are available at the HCFANY website.


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Guest Post: Lorraine Gonzalez-Camastra, Director of Health Policy,
Children’s Defense Fund – NY

The United States is making steady progress in reducing the number of uninsured Hispanic children, even as the total population of Hispanic children grows, according to a report recently released by Georgetown Center for Children and Families. Since 2009, the number of Hispanic children who are uninsured has dropped by more than half a million, while the total number of Hispanic children grew by more than a million. New York is one of three states nationally that has rates of uninsured Hispanic children that are well below the national average. While this is a huge accomplishment, it is important to consider how the recent surge in unaccompanied children nationally, and in New York State, might impact uninsurance rates. These children will need to be connected to a means for health insurance coverage to avoid an uptick in the uninsurance rate for Hispanics nationally and in New York State, specifically.

In response to the latest surge of unaccompanied children who have arrived in New York State, mainly populating the downstate region, the New York City Council, in partnership with the Robin Hood Foundation and New York Community Trust, has secured resources for legal services to represent these children at immigration and deportation proceedings. Additionally, the Council and Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs have also begun to organize an accessible pathway to social service supports for these children/youth on-site at the federal immigration court in New York City. Most concretely, Mayor de Blasio’s administration has created a resource directory for the unaccompanied minor population so that front-line workers can direct children and families to appropriate support services.

New York State reflects a very diverse demographic.  It can be daunting for newly immigrated families to become acculturated to Americanized social service systems that offer health care, education, and other supports. For children who arrive unaccompanied, the experience can be all the more intimidating.

It is essential that city and state officials employ social service policies that are user-friendly by children and families, especially new immigrants. In New York City and State, we have worked to gain some successes in this area. Moving ahead, we must continue to keep pace with the rising demand of Hispanic and other ethnicities entering our local communities.

Want to learn more? Visit the HCFANY webinars available here and here.

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Our guest post today comes from the New York State Health Foundation. The Foundation recently engaged Harris Poll to survey New Yorkers about their NY State of Health Marketplace insurance. Here, Senior Director of Communications Maureen Cozine gives us the scoop on their findings, which will help inform this year’s open enrollment period that ends February 15, 2015.

Guest post: Maureen Cozine, Senior Director of Communications, New York State Health Foundation

Over the last year or so, we at the New York State Health Foundation have heard lots of stories about New Yorkers who gained health insurance as the Affordable Care Act was implemented. We heard from our grantees and partners about people like Luis and Carmen (pictured with their enrollment counselor), who have more peace of mind now that Luis can get care for his neuropathy, diabetes, and heart problems. And Ben, a composer who can pay for the medications he needs. And Jerome, who was uninsured for years, but now has the Medicaid coverage he needs to see a doctor.

We loved hearing these stories and learning how Obamacare is working for these New Yorkers. But we wanted to get a better sense across the board of what newly-insured New Yorkers thought about their coverage: Are they satisfied with it? Are they using it? Can they get the care they need? Is the coverage affordable?

To find out, we asked Harris Poll to survey 250 New Yorkers who had enrolled in Medicaid or private health insurance plans through the NY State of Health Marketplace beginning October 1, 2013.

What we learned is that health reform is working in New York State. 92% of the respondents report being satisfied with their coverage. And they’re using their coverage; 84% said they have gotten services like primary care, prescription drugs, care for chronic conditions, and dental care.

Challenges remain. Roughly 20% of respondents said they had trouble finding a doctor who would take their insurance and/or would take on new patients. And nearly two-thirds of those with private coverage say they’ll need to stretch their budgets to afford their premiums.

92% of respondents say they’re likely to renew their coverage, but most will need some help. About 80% of people said they used help when they enrolled in coverage last year, and expect to need help again from the NY State of Health website or call center, a Navigator or other application assister, family member or friend, or another source. (The Foundation is proudly supporting a number of outreach and enrollment efforts throughout the State; these helped connect thousands of New Yorkers to coverage during the first open enrollment period.)

With the new open enrollment period now underway, we look forward to seeing even more New Yorkers getting the coverage and care they need!