With record enrollment, NY extends deadline for health insurance through marketplace
- Ny State of Health, the state's official healthcare Marketplace, said Tuesday that a record 5.8 million New Yorkers are enrolled in a healthcare plan.
- The state extended this year's deadline to enroll to May 15.
- The goal is to keep residents from avoiding testing medical care for fear of cost.
A record 5.8 million New Yorkers are enrolled in coverage through NY State of Health, the state’s official health care marketplace, following expanded access to plans during COVID-19, the state announced Tuesday.
For the second year running, New York’s 2021 Open Enrollment Period was extended to May 15. Residents who enroll by the 15th of the month will receive coverage as follows:
- Enroll by March 15: Coverage starts April 1
- Enroll by April 15: Coverage starts May 1
- Enroll by May 15: Coverage starts June 1
The extension allows individuals eligible for Qualified Health Plan insurance additional time to enroll. Enrollment is open for all NY State of Health programs; Individuals who are eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan and Child Health Plus can enroll year-round.
The goal is to keep individuals from avoiding testing or medical care for fear of cost. Most marketplace enrollees qualify for financial assistance to lower the cost of their coverage.
Enrollment increased by nearly 885,000 people across all marketplace programs from the end of the 2020 Open Enrollment Period in February 2020 to the end of February this year.
Nearly a third of all New Yorkers — 5.8 million people — are now enrolled in the program.
“The Marketplace has served as a safety net for consumers during this public health emergency,” said Donna Frescatore, the program's executive director.
“Without easy, real-time access to these programs, many would not have had access to affordable health care throughout the past year, as the state responded to the global COVID-19 pandemic.”
The past year’s enrollment increases were concentrated in Medicaid and the Essential Plan — with 4.3 million and 885,000 enrollees to date, respectively — as individuals lost their jobs and/or saw sharp declines in their incomes during the pandemic, state officials said.
Marketplace enrollees in 2021 include individuals who were previously uninsured or had other coverage and are new to the Marketplace, and individuals who moved between NY State of Health programs due to a change in circumstances, such as loss of income.
Sarah Taddeo is the consumer watchdog reporter for USA Today Network's New York State Team. Got a story tip or comment? Contact Sarah at STADDEO@Gannett.com or (585) 258-2774. Follow her on Twitter @Sjtaddeo. This coverage is only possible with support from our readers. Please consider becoming a digital subscriber.