NY State of Health, together with the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), announced that New York will make a Special Enrollment Period available to New Yorkers during which eligible individuals will be able to enroll in insurance coverage through NY State of Health, New York's official health plan Marketplace, and directly through insurers.This step is being taken in light of the COVID-19 public health emergency to further protect the public health of New Yorkers. NY State of Health, DFS, and New York State health insurers are taking this action due to the exceptional nature of the public health emergency posed by the COVID-19 so that individuals do not avoid seeking testing or medical care for fear of cost. The open enrollment period for coverage in 2020 had previously ended on February 7, 2020.
Individuals who enroll in Qualified Health Plans through NY State of Health or directly through insurers between March 16 and April 15, 2020 will have coverage effective starting April 1, 2020. Individuals who are eligible for other NY State of Health programs – Medicaid, Essential Plan and Child Health Plus – can enroll year-round. As always, consumers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health on-line at nystateofhealth.ny.gov, by phone at 855-355-5777, and working with enrollment assistors.
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As directed by Governor Cuomo, all New York insurers will have waived cost-sharing for a COVID-19 testing,
"With a pandemic spreading through the U.S., it's important to ensure that healthcare is available to everyone who needs it," said NY State of Health Executive Director, Donna Frescatore. "This special enrollment period will provide New Yorkers with another opportunity to sign up for high-quality, affordable health insurance."
"Ensuring access to affordable and quality medical care for all New Yorkers is a top priority during this state of emergency," said Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell. "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, we have established a special enrollment period, providing uninsured New Yorkers an opportunity to select a New York State health insurance provider to access diagnostic testing and care they may need."
For additional information on COVID-19:
- The Department of Health provides public health information and guidance here: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/, and has implemented a Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
- The Centers for Disease Control's website offers up to date information at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/
- Governor Cuomo has issued a directive regarding access and cost sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment available at: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-new-directive-requiring-new-york-insurers-waive-cost-sharing
- The Department of Financial Services has issued a circular letter on COVID-19 for health insurers here: https://www.dfs.ny.gov/industry_guidance/circular_letters/cl2020_03