Everyone is experiencing enormous upheaval right now and many people are losing their jobs and with it their health insurance. Here’s a summary of actions New York State has taken to keep people covered during the pandemic.
- Medicaid discontinuances are halted. If you have Medicaid, you will not be disenrolled. If you get a discontinuance letter, contact your local district office or the NY State of Health – you will be reinstated. Thanks to the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act, this is now also a federal policy – but New York did it first!
- Medicaid, Essential Plan, and Child Health Plus renewal dates are being pushed back by four moths. If you were supposed to renew in March, April, May, or June, you no longer have to do so.
- If you are uninsured, you have special permission to buy a plan through the New York State of Health (link) until April 15. A lot of people are experiencing job and income losses – you may be eligible for help that you weren’t previously eligible for. Ask for help figuring out what your options are – the New York State Navigator program is running full speed ahead! Your insurance will start on April 1.
- There is no cost-sharing (such as co-pays) for in-network telehealth services, whether related to COVID-19 or not (link). Insurers must cover telehealth services if those services would be covered during a physical interaction. This will help people stay at home and avoid unnecesary physical interactions.
- There is no cost-sharing for COVID-19 tests. If you cannot get a test in-network, insurers must cover the test out-of-network.
Things are moving quickly! As always, if you need help getting insurance or using your insurance, the Community Health Advocates program (link) is available.