Over 3.6 million New Yorkers signed up for health insurance this year using the New York State of Health (NYSOH), the insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This represents 18 percent of everyone in the state, and is nearly 800,000 more people than last year. Since NYSOH opened in 2013, the state’s rate of uninsured people has dropped from 10 percent to only five percent.
Before the ACA and NYSOH, fewer than 21,000 people bought individual insurance plans and the cheapest option cost over $1,000 a month. This year, over 240,000 people bought individual plans, and their average premium is almost 50 percent lower. The plans that those people purchased provide a standard set of benefits because of the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits, cost the same for everyone regardless of previous health problems, and came without any annual or lifetime limits on care. They also came with help for those whose premiums are still too high for their income – over half of the people who bought individual plans through NYSOH received tax credits, an average of $233 a month. Another 665,000 people used NYSOH to sign up for the Essential Plan, a low-cost option for those who do not qualify for Medicaid.
People signing up for health insurance using NYSOH also benefited from free assistance provided by Navigators, Facilitated Enrollers, and Certified Application Counselors. Navigators, who are trained and certified by the state, helped over 72,000 people and small businesses sign up for coverage. Their assistance is available in-person all across New York and in at least 43 different languages – you can find help in your own community by calling 888-614-5400.
 Peter Newell and Nikhita Thaper, “Affordable Care Act Brings New Life – and Covered Lives – to New York’s Individual Market,” United Hospital Fund, May 2016, https://www.uhfnyc.org/publications/881127.