Over 230,000 New Yorkers woke up on the January 1 to new health care coverage. You read that right – nearly a quarter of a million individuals and families! Those are the latest numbers from the NY State of Health, which reported that as of the December 24 deadline 230,624 had enrolled in private and public insurance plans. In fact, according to the State’s press release, more than 42,000 people enrolled on December 23 and 24 alone. For all of those newly enrolled, the State just posted this handy FAQ about how to use your coverage on the NYSOH website.
The surge in enrollments doesn’t appear to be letting up: by Monday, December 30, nearly 500,000 New Yorkers had completed applications and over 240,000 had enrolled. That’s a good thing, as open enrollment continues through March 31 of this year. New York is well on its way to meeting its three-year goal of 1.1 million enrollments.
According to The New York Times, about three-quarters of those enrolled selected private insurance plans and the remaining quarter enrolled in public insurance (Medicaid). New York, which operated an expanded Medicaid program even before the ACA, was quick to take up the new federal funding for Medicaid expansion. Our state’s leadership in this area not only improves public health, it’s a smart fiscal choice. States that have chosen to forgo Medicaid expansion, such as Florida and Texas, stand to lose billions of dollars, according to a study by the Commonwealth Fund.