The ACA is working: New Yorkers tell their stories

Posted October, 17 2014 by Amanda

Engracia & insBlurred

Engracia from Manhattan proudly holds her new insurance card 

With open enrollment less than a month away (November 15), it’s a good time to take stock of last year’s open enrollment period. HCFANY’s new brief, “The ACA is Working for New Yorkers: Highlights from Open Enrollment 2013-2014” does just that.

Nearly one million New Yorkers enrolled during the first open enrollment period, which ran from October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. That’s about 4,900 per day, or 200 per hour. Each of these one million New Yorkers has a story to tell about getting covered. HCFANY’s new brief illustrates the success of the first open enrollment period through four such stories.

New Yorkers like Ben from Broome County and Engracia from Manhattan found more affordable, quality insurance plans than ever before. Engracia is saving $4,500 a year in premiums with her new plan, thanks to federal subsidies to help pay the cost of her monthly premium. And Ben was able to enroll in Medicaid because of Medicaid expansion under the ACA. Nearly three-quarters of private “Qualified Health Plan” enrollees got financial help via federal subsidies to cover their costs.

About half of New Yorkers who enrolled got help from an in-person assister, like a Navigator or Certified Application Counselor. This includes Karen from Ulster County who was uninsured when she applied, like over 80% of enrollees. It also includes Carlos from Suffolk County who was able to get help in his native language – Spanish – from a Navigator at Make the Road New York.

This coming year, New York has a chance to build on its successes and continue to close the final gaps in coverage. To that end, the brief also includes recommendations for enrolling all New Yorkers in affordable, quality health insurance, including:

  • Making insurance even more affordable for low-income working families;
  • Increasing outreach to hard-to-reach communities, including people of color and immigrants; and
  • Continuing to improve access to health care providers.

Download the full brief here.

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