Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, a.k.a. “PPACA”), states are allowed to get federal funding set up special health insurance plans for people who have pre-existing health conditions and who have been unable to enroll into coverage because of that. In New York, we are lucky enough to have something called “guaranteed issue,” which means that health insurers are not allowed to deny you insurance coverage if you have a pre-existing condition (though they can impose a waiting period of up to a year where care for that existing condition will be denied).
To help people in New York who have been unable to get coverage for their pre-existing conditions, the state set up the NY Bridge Plan which is offered only through EmblemHealth. This is a special subsidized insurance plan that will offer coverage to people with medical conditions until 2014, when the new insurance Exchange will be in place.
To qualify for the plan, you must:
- Have been uninsured for the past 6 months
- Have a pre-exisiting medical condition (see here for list of eligible conditions); and
- Be a legal U.S. resident.
- For those who live in downstate New York, the premium rate is $421.00 per month.
- For those who live in upstate New York, the premium rate is $362.00 per month.
The federal funding opportunity for the NY Bridge Plan is essentially a “use it or lose it” situation. Therefore, it is in the state’s best interests to get as many people who need care into the plan. If your organization is interested in a presentation or materials on the plan, contact the NYS Department of Insurance.
- Call the NY Bridge Plan toll free from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday at 1-866-NY-EZ-APP (1-866-693-9277) TDD 1-877-448-4975 or click here to visit the NY Bridge Plan website.
- Community Health Advocates can also offer free help and information on the NY Bridge plan. They can be reached toll free at: 1-888-614-5400 or on the web at www.communityhealthadvocates.org
- HCFANY’s FAQ’s on the NY Bridge Plan