Secondary Navigation

Mayor de Blasio Launches GetCoveredNYC Initiative to Enroll More New Yorkers in Health Insurance Programs

December 20, 2016

Goal to enroll 50,000 New Yorkers through 2017; open enrollment period ends Jan 31, 2017

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio was today 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.

“Our national healthcare landscape has changed, and much as we’ve had to re-imagine ways to more effectively deliver care, we’ve also had to think creatively as to how that care will be paid for,” said Health + Hospitals Interim President and CEO Stan Brezenoff. “Increasing healthcare enrollment is the best thing for New Yorkers in need, and the best thing for our essential healthcare network.”

“Health insurance makes it easier to see a primary care physician regularly and catch health problems early,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “As we work to address health disparities among New Yorkers, the Health Department encourages everyone to apply before the January 31st deadline. Health insurance is a right, not a privilege.”

“We are very pleased with the partnership with the City Hall Public Engagement Unit, Human Resources Administration and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene under the Mayor’s leadership to assist uninsured New Yorkers in enrolling in vital health insurance programs that will ensure their access to high quality medical care,” said MetroPlus’s President and CEO Dr. Arnold Saperstein.

“The public service professionals AFSCME represents in H+H facilities work hard every day to keep New Yorkers healthy and safe. At a time when some are eager to take health care away from 30 million Americans, we need more leaders like Mayor de Blasio who stand up for working families and fight to give them access to quality, affordable health coverage,” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders.

"This critical initiative will help even more New Yorkers access the health care they need and deserve,” said Center for American Progress President and CEO Neera Tanden. “As President-elect Trump and Republicans in Congress plan to strip coverage from millions of Americans, Mayor de Blasio is showing them what true leadership looks like.”

Medical coverage can be an enormous expense for New York’s working families and it is vital we collaborate at all levels of government to expand access to insurance and healthcare,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez. GetCoveredNYC is critical to helping spread the word and inform New Yorkers about the resources available to them. I look forward to working with the Mayor to ensure more New York residents are able to secure quality coverage and care.”

“New York City has done an admirable job of signing people up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act,” said Congressman Eliot Engel. “Though more Americans are now covered than ever before, there are still many who are eligible for coverage that have yet to enroll. GetCoveredNYC is a wonderful campaign that will help raise awareness about the current open enrollment period and the health care options available to New Yorkers. I encourage all those who have yet to get covered to sign-up before the enrollment period ends on January 31st, 2017.”

Congressman Joe Crowley said, “Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, millions of previously uninsured Americans have finally secured health insurance, but the effort to cover every single New Yorker continues. The GetCoveredNYC campaign will work to make every enrollment option easily accessible and readily available. I thank the Mayor’s office for its commitment to making sure everyone, especially our vulnerable communities, has quality and affordable healthcare.”

“I’m glad the Mayor has made enrolling New Yorkers in health insurance plans a priority,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “New Yorkers’ health, financial well-being and the future of our safety net and public hospitals all depend on it.”

"All New Yorkers should have the information and support they need to get the best healthcare plan they can," said State Senator Daniel Squadron. "As we continue to push for stronger healthcare policies on the state level, I encourage all eligible New Yorkers to access needed information on how to make the best healthcare decisions. Thank you to the City, HHC, HRA, DOHMH, MetroPlus and my colleagues for helping spread the word."

“It’s important that Mayor de Blasio is helping to get the word out that we have extra time for enrolling in the Affordable Care Act. For millions of working people in New York, the coverage is free or very low cost, under the ACA, New York’s Essential Plan or Medicaid,” said Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, Chair of the Committee on Health. “Whatever happens in Washington down the road, it’s important to get signed up now.”

“I applaud Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to enroll more New Yorkers in health insurance. Especially as we enter the dark days of the Trump Era, it is more important than ever that we do everything possible to make sure as many people as possible have access to primary and preventative care,” said Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz.

“By enrolling more New Yorkers in affordable healthcare plans, we provide New Yorkers with increased access to primary and preventive care,” said Assembly Member David Weprin. “With the future of the Affordable Care Act up in the air, I am glad to see that Mayor Bill de Blasio has taken this step to increase insurance coverage in New York City. By identifying potential applicants and assisting with applications, Get Covered NYC will help many New Yorkers gain access to health insurance.”

“Though the future course of our federal government’s healthcare policy remains in doubt, one thing is clear: every New Yorker, especially those in our low-income and immigrant communities, needs to get covered,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “By engaging in this important outreach effort, we are helping to improve the health of thousands of uninsured New Yorkers, as well as the healthcare network they rely on.”

Council Member Mathieu Eugene said, “The GetCoveredNYC outreach program is vital to the wellbeing of New Yorkers who require health insurance, but may not be aware of their eligibility. This important initiative addresses an ongoing issue within our community, and I encourage all residents who are in need of specific medical resources to take part in this program.”

“The federal health reform law works no place better than New York. But with the promise of health coverage under attack, it is imperative that those still uninsured in our state get insured, and in doing so send a clear message to our leaders in Washington that they value the safety and security of health coverage more than ever,” said David R. Jones, President and CEO of the Community Service Society.

“As the Affordable Care Act Navigators for Kings County – with five staff members speaking six languages and working in locations across Brooklyn – we know how crucial it is for every eligible resident to have health insurance. GetCoveredNYC is a terrific approach to increasing enrollment, and the Brooklyn Chamber looks forward to participating in the campaign and helping as many New Yorkers as possible get coverage,” said Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce CEO Andrew Hoan. “Congratulations to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Health and Hospitals Interim CEO Stan Brezenoff and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Mary Bassett on this wonderful initiative.”

“We applaud the Mayor’s Office’s expansion of GetCoveredNYC. It literally ‘takes a village’ to do this work,” said Lisa David, President and CEO of Public Health Solutions. “There are many supporting organizations doing great work reaching different populations. PHS, for instance, provides enrollment in 20 different languages. In addition, we use a co-location model that allows families to access Navigator services at locations where they go for other services like PHS’ Neighborhood WIC sites.”

"Doctors working in New York City's public hospital system – the City's safety net hospitals – serve the most at-risk and vulnerable New Yorkers. Often these patients come to our hospitals already quite sick. The frontline doctors have a pulse on the communities we serve and we know that access to comprehensive insurance coverage, as well as timely primary and preventive care, will lower health care costs and improve health outcomes for our patients and communities," saidDr. Frank Proscia, President, Doctors Council SEIU. "Our hospitals, especially public institutions, which serve large numbers of uninsured New Yorkers will be stronger and more viable with greater numbers of insured patients."

“Every day, uninsured New Yorkers are forced to make the decision to go without care because of prohibitive costs,” said Donovan Purrier, Licensed Practical Nurse at Metropolitan Hospital and member, 1199SEIU. “Through the Mayor’s GetCoveredNYC program, more people from across the five boroughs would no longer have to choose between seeing the doctor and putting food on the table. Our City’s public Health + Hospital facilities are ready to continue providing the quality care every New Yorker deserves.”

"The Asian American Federation applauds Mayor de Blasio for his GetCoveredNYC Initiative, which will help low-income Asian New Yorkers enroll in affordable/no-cost healthcare," said Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of the Asian American Federation. "With more than 1 in 8 Asian New Yorkers lacking health insurance – the majority of whom are foreign-born, with particularly high uninsured rates in the Korean community – this program will be crucial in providing the uninsured self-employed and seniors and children living in poverty in our community access to healthcare."

"Make the Road New York applauds Mayor Bill De Blasio, Health + Hospitals and the Human Resources Administration for their increased efforts to inform New Yorkers of health insurance options currently available to them, and to encourage them to apply. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had an enormous impact on the lives of New Yorkers and it is essential that the ACA is protected so these individuals can continue to access quality, low cost health insurance options,” said Becca Telzak, Director of Health Programs at Make the Road New York.

Barbara Bowen, President of PSC/CUNY, said, "We in New York City cannot control everything that will happen at the federal level, but we must do what we can to protect the rights of all New Yorkers. And no right is more fundamental than the right to healthcare. I applaud Mayor de Blasio for taking this important step to identify and enroll New Yorkers in need of health coverage. It is exactly the kind of initiative that is needed now."

Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families U.S.A., said, “While some in Washington look backwards, we should look forwards to adding life-saving health coverage to New Yorkers so they can get good, affordable care to keep their families healthy. Families U.S.A. applauds the efforts Mayor de Blasio and his Administration have taken to launch GetCovered NYC at this important time.”

"We've seen a huge surge in enrollment following National Youth Enrollment Day, so we're thrilled to see Mayor de Blasio and others working hard to sustain this momentum and help more young people get covered and take advantage of the financial help they are guaranteed under the ACA," said Kevin Stump, Northeast Director of Young Invincibles.

"We applaud Mayor de Blasio for launching GetCoveredNYC to keep New Yorkers of all ages healthy. We are also pleased to work with several City agencies to ensure that older New Yorkers have access to Medicaid and other benefits," said Allison Nickerson, Executive Director of LiveOn NY.

"As a patient navigator for the Affordable Care Act, The Center knows first-hand how crucial it is for LGBT community members to be able to access affordable insurance coverage and quality care," said Glennda Testone, Executive Director of NYC's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center. "We applaud Mayor de Blasio for introducing the GetCoveredNYC initiative and demonstrating the City's commitment to caring for its community in these uncertain times." 

“We know just how critical it is for vulnerable communities to have access to affordable, affirming and appropriate care,” said Wendy Stark, Executive Director of Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, which has provided LGBTQ-centric health care in New York City for nearly 50 years. “Since the inception of the Affordable Care Act, the percentage of our uninsured patients dropped from 37 percent to 26 percent, which means more New Yorkers have access to the care they need. We applaud the Mayor and his administration for promoting open enrollment through the GetCoveredNYC initiative.”

“We commend Mayor de Blasio for taking action and creating the GetCoveredNYC initiative within the Public Engagement Unit, utilizing person to person outreach tactics and in-person enrollers to ensure every New Yorker knows what is available to them under the Affordable Care Act,” said Rachel Linstead Goldsmith, State Assistance Director of the Eastern Region at Enroll America.

"I applaud the Mayor for this new initiative to help New Yorkers learn about free and low-cost health insurance available to them," said Rabbi David Niederman of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn. "After helping thousands enroll in the various health insurance plans, we know firsthand the importance of increasing outreach and assistance with enrollment, so that people don't lack health coverage and don't hesitate to schedule medical appointments or seek treatment. This new initiative will reduce the number of uninsured and will help make New Yorkers healthier."

"Health care coverage plays a key role in reducing costs and improving outcomes for serious and life-threatening conditions, including HIV and AIDS. For that reason, GMHC has patient care navigators on staff to assist and advise our clients who are seeking enrollment. Thank you Mayor de Blasio for launching this critical initiative that seeks to increase enrollment rates and expand access to affordable health care,” said Kelsey Louie, CEO of GMHC.

“It’s about time all New Yorkers get covered with health insurance. I fully support this worthwhile effort. Thank you Mayor de Blasio,” said Dorothy Turano, District Manager of Community Board 18 in Brooklyn, NY

“This is wonderful! I applaud The Mayor for creating GetCoveredNYC. Let’s get New Yorkers enrolled,” said Viola Greene-Walker, District Manager of Community Board 16 in Brooklyn, NY

“It is imperative that the administration raise awareness to all New Yorkers the options that are available within the healthcare system,” said NYS Committeewoman Dorita Clarke. “It is a great advantage that young people up to the age of 26 are able to remain on their parents health insurance. I am confident that through GetCoveredNYC campaign, the number of enrollment will increase.”

"For the past three years, American Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP) has been at the forefront of connecting Muslims to healthcare coverage. We recognize the value of person-to-person outreach effort and thank Mayor Bill de Blasio for taking the initiative to launch GetCoveredNYC to increase enrollment,” said Madiha Shahid, co-Founder and President of NY/NJ Chapter of American Muslim Health Professionals.

New Yorkers may connect with free in-person GetCoveredNYC enrollment assistance near them through calling 311 or texting CoveredNYC to 877-877.

Media Contact
(212) 788-2958