|(photo: press office nyc.gov)|
NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio was recently joined by Health + Hospitals Interim CEO Stan Brezenoff, Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T Bassett, Community Service Society President and CEO David R. Jones and Public Health Solutions President and CEO Lisa David at Health + Hospital/Gouverneur to launch the GetCoveredNYC campaign focused on enrolling more New Yorkers in health insurance and providing them with access to primary and preventive care at public Health + Hospitals facilities. The campaign’s goal is to enroll 50,000 New Yorkers through 2017 who are eligible for health insurance but are not taking advantage of existing enrollment options.
The Mayor’s Office has partnered with Health + Hospitals, the Human Resources Administration, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and MetroPlus to launch this ambitious campaign. On December 10, the City hosted five enrollment events focused on engaging potential youth applicants and assisting them in applying for coverage.
“We don’t know the future of the Affordable Care Act, but we do know that Obamacare and Medicaid expansion are helping New Yorkers every day,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We must continue to enroll eligible residents in these vital programs, paying special attention to those most appealing to low-income residents, such as Medicaid and the Essential plan.”
Throughout the campaign, GetCoveredNYC outreach teams will proactively engage uninsured New Yorkers who have visited Health + Hospitals facilities. In order to reach the maximum number of New Yorkers, the campaign will include at-home outreach as well as office hours at community partner or elected officials’ offices, providing direct access to in-person assistance from outreach specialists. Specialists will schedule individuals for an enrollment appointment and case-manage each applicant through the entire process. The open enrollment period will end on January 31, 2017.
Depending on income and other criteria, applicants may be eligible for Medicaid at no cost. Those whose earnings exceed Medicaid limits may be eligible for the Essential Plan, which also offers a comprehensive coverage package for either $20 monthly premium or no cost, depending on income. Those earning more – between 200 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level – may be eligible for Qualified Health Plan coverage, offered by MetroPlus and others, with public subsidies on a sliding scale reflecting income. All the plans cover inpatient and outpatient care, physician services, diagnostic services, mental healthcare and prescription drugs.
While NYC Health + Hospitals makes care available to all New Yorkers, regardless of ability to pay, the public health system emphasizes the importance of insurance enrollment as a tool to best engage patients in their healthcare – as opposed to waiting until health issues reach critical levels and require emergency room or inpatient care, the most expensive care for the system. Further, to address its financial challenges, Health + Hospitals needs more of its patient population to gain access to insurance to help close its growing budget gap.
New Yorkers may connect with free in-person GetCoveredNYC enrollment assistance near them through calling 311 or texting CoveredNYC to 877-877.