Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Mayor de Blasio Unveils NYC Care Card, Details Progress Toward Launch of Guaranteed Health Care

Photo by New York City Hall Press Office

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled the NYC Care card, the key to quality and affordable health care for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who cannot afford or are ineligible for insurance. When NYC Care launches in the Bronx on August 1, residents will be able to use their NYC Care Card to receive their own doctor, get preventative screenings and tests, and connect to a 24/7 service to help make appointments.

An estimated 300,000 New Yorkers are currently ineligible for health insurance, including people who can’t afford insurance and undocumented immigrants, and will be able to enroll in NYC Care. The $100 million program – one of two major components of the City’s Guaranteed Care commitment – will be fully implemented across all five boroughs by the end of 2020, making it as easy as possible for New Yorkers to get the health care they need.

“In New York City, we know health care is a human right, which is why we're making that right a reality,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We’re on track to guarantee health care for every single New Yorker. Access to quality and affordable health care is one of the biggest burdens working people face. Now they won’t face it alone.”

“Today’s announcement affirms New York City’s commitment to ensure that every New Yorker has access to the health care they need – which of course includes mental health,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “When we fail to invest in wellness and prevention, we pay the price in dollars spent and lives damaged. New York is pioneering a better, more inclusive approach and will continue to lead the nation in providing behavioral health services to every person in our city.”

Mayor de Blasio announced a series of milestones toward implementing Guaranteed Care in NYC:

  • New NYC Care Card, which will provide each member with a dedicated doctor, access to a 24/7 customer service line to make appointments, and clear copays that are affordable to each individual member.
  • New NYC Health + Hospitals doctors hired in the Bronx to serve approximately 10,000 patients expected to enroll in NYC Care in the first six months.
  • New Executive Director for NYC Care, Marielle Kress, who was instrumental in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) successful expansion of Medicaid in states across the country.
  • Access to 24/7 pharmacy services in the Bronx, launching on August 1, that will provide NYC Care members with easy access to affordable medication.
  • GetGoveredNYC, the City’s health insurance outreach and enrollment initiative, has enrolled more than 19,000 New Yorkers into coverage in 2019, a 19 percent increase from the same time period last year.
  • GetCoveredNYC
  • GetCoveredNYC, the City’s health insurance outreach and enrollment program, has enrolled 19,942 New Yorkers in health care coverage from January through March 2019, more than half of the Mayor’s stated goal of enrolling 31,000 New Yorkers by July 2019. Since the Mayor signed Executive Order 40 Connecting New Yorkers to Health Insurance, GetCoveredNYC has collaborated with 34 City agencies on outreach and enrollment opportunities that make it easier for New Yorkers to determine their eligibility for coverage, especially outside of the annual Open Enrollment Period, and sign up for insurance.
  • Since its creation in 2016, GetCoveredNYC – which is overseen by the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit – has now helped more than 160,000 New Yorkers enroll in the New York State’s ACA health insurance marketplace. About 2.5 million New York City residents are now insured through the state’s insurance marketplace as of January 2019, according to the New York State Department of Health’s county-level data on health insurance enrollment.
  • MetroPlus, the City’s Public Option
  • MetroPlus today also launched its latest public awareness campaign, “Health Care is Your Right. Not a Privilege.” The campaign will be seen through the end of June on subway cars, bus shelters near NYC/Health + Hospitals locations, ethnic and community-based print media, and featured at other venues across New York City, including Brooklyn Cyclones games. The ads will be available in eight languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, Haitian Creole, Polish and Russian.
  • MetroPlus provides affordable health insurance that connects insurance-eligible New Yorkers to a network of providers that includes NYC Health + Hospitals’ 70 patient care sites, including 11 hospitals. MetroPlus serves as an affordable, quality option for people on Medicaid, Medicare, and those purchasing insurance on the exchange.
  • Eligibility Determination: NYC Care will be open to anyone who has lived in New York City for six months or longer and does not have an affordable insurance option or who is ineligible for insurance.
  • New 24/7 customer assistance operation: Starting August 1, NYC Care members will have access to a 24/7 customer assistance line where they ask questions about NYC Care and speak to an on-call clinician for all of their needs, including prescription refills. Members will also be able to schedule appointments at convenient times and will have assistance to help navigate members through the NYC Health + Hospitals system.
  • Expanded pharmacy hours: NYC Care patients will have 24/7 access to medications in the Bronx starting Aug. 1. This includes expanded hours at all NYC Health + Hospital pharmacy locations in (NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi, NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, and NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx). Until now, uninsured patients have been limited to NYC Health + Hospital pharmacy access during business hours, which makes it challenging for patients to get their medications if they are at work.
  • Outreach with Community-based Organizations: To reach eligible New Yorkers, NYC Health + Hospitals is partnering with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. The health system will invest $450,000 to partner with community-based organizations in the Bronx to reach New Yorkers eligible to participate in NYC Care. This money will fund up to 15 full-time outreach workers, or the part time equivalent, who will conduct direct, grass-roots outreach to targeted population in a culturally appropriate and sensitive manner and make appointments with NYC Care enrollment staff.

“When I was appointed, one of my first tasks was to financially stabilize and transform NYC Health + Hospitals into a health care delivery system built for the 21st century landscape,” said Dr. Herminia Palacio, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. “It’s upon the achievements of the last three years that we are now poised to lead the charge and make the Mayor’s vision of Guaranteed Care a reality for all New Yorkers. We are excited about the progress made towards preparing for the launch of NYC Care, and look forward to providing New Yorkers without access to health insurance a key the City’s health care.”

NYC Health + Hospitals is actively preparing for a successful launch of NYC Care in the Bronx this summer. NYC Health + Hospitals will hire seven doctors to serve the estimated 10,000 patients expected to enroll in NYC Care in the first six months. Since the program guarantees a dedicated primary care provider for all members, the new hires will help manage the expected increase in demand for services.

Additionally, the Mayor revealed the design for the NYC Care card. The blue and orange card features the city skyline as part of the NYC Care logo and the tagline “Your Key to the City’s Health Care.” All members will receive this card, which will be the key to providing members with valuable information about their dedicated doctor, a 24/7 customer assistance line where they can access an operator to help answer questions, and clear information about copays that are affordable to individual members. NYC Care’s logo “Your Key to The City’s Health Care” is a joint effort between City Hall and Area 23, an FCB Health Network company. This is the first project assigned by NYC’s Creative Council, recently formed to advise and provide the city with creative solutions. Susan Credle, FCB’s Global Chief Creative Officer, is a founding member of the council.


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