FAQ | NYC Health + Hospitals


Coming to the Bronx - August 2019

Health care is a right and New York City is working to ensure every New Yorker has access to it.

NYC Care Frequently Asked Questions


What is New York City’s Guaranteed Health Care Plan?

On January 8, 2019, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the Administration’s plan to ensure health care for every New Yorker. There are two components of NYC’s Guaranteed Health Care Plan:

  • NYC Care: new health coverage option through NYC Health + Hospitals for New Yorkers who are unable to afford health insurance or are ineligible for health insurance.
  • NYC’s Public Option (health insurance option available through MetroPlus): low-cost, high-quality insurance to connect eligible New Yorkers to care.

Why is NYC launching the Guaranteed Health Care Plan?

There are an estimated 600,000 New Yorkers without health insurance, and too many uninsured New Yorkers are avoiding care when they need it. Too many end up seeking care in the emergency room, do not know how to navigate the health care system, or do not know there is a public system where they can seek primary and preventive care without fear.

What do we know about the estimated 600,000 uninsured New Yorkers that the Guaranteed Health Care Plan seeks to serve?

The estimated 600,000 New Yorkers are comprised of two populations:

  • Individuals who are not eligible to receive Medicaid or do not have affordable options available to them on the New York Health Exchange. These individuals will be served by NYC Care.
  • Individuals who are eligible to receive Medicaid or purchase insurance, but have not enrolled because they do not think they need coverage, do not think they can afford the plans that are available on the New York Health Exchange, or need help navigating the enrollment or renewal process. These individuals will be directed to the City’s Public Option, MetroPlus, which offers enrollment assistance and affordable coverage for comprehensive services, for as little as $0 per month.

About NYC Care

What is NYC Care?

NYC Care is a new health coverage option through NYC Health + Hospitals for New Yorkers who are unable to afford health insurance or are ineligible for health insurance. The new coverage program will have features found in traditional health insurance plans, such as a membership card, 24-7 customer service, defined set of benefits, coverage of prescriptions, and coordinated care to make it easy for New Yorkers to access and navigate through the system and the various levels of care patients need.

What are the member benefits of NYC Care?

NYC Care will provide:

  • An assigned primary care clinician at one of NYC Health + Hospitals 70+ patient care locations in every borough
  • Comprehensive primary and preventive care services
  • Access to NYC Health + Hospitals specialty care and behavioral health care services
  • Access to a 24/7 member service hotline
  • Access to affordable prescription benefits
  • A dedicated membership card
  • A welcome packet and education materials that helps the member understand their benefits and responsibilities under the plan

Is NYC Care an insurance plan?

No, NYC Care is not an insurance plan but it will guarantee health care services to those without insurance or unable to afford insurance. Under NYC Care, people will have a similar experience to what people with health insurance are accustomed to such as having a membership card, being able to call a customer service line, having a regular doctor, etc.

How much would it cost to enroll in NYC Care?

Enrollment is free, and there will be no membership fees, monthly fees or premiums. The cost to receive care will be based on a sliding scale.

What will the eligibility and income guidelines be?

Coverage will be available to all New Yorkers who are ineligible for or unable to afford insurance, and have lived in New York City for at least three months.

When will NYC Care begin?

NYC Care will launch summer 2019 in the Bronx, and will roll out across the five boroughs by the end of 2020. By 2020, NYC Care will be available throughout New York City.

What health care services will be covered by NYC Care?

NYC Care will offer a wide range of health care services available at over 70+ patient care sites across the five boroughs, including:

  • Comprehensive primary and preventive care services including chronic disease testing and management as well as age-appropriate screening exams
  • Mental health and addiction treatment
  • Pediatrics
  • Pharmacy
  • Specialty services such as cardiology, maternity care, reproductive care, gynecology, cancer care, and others

What language access services are available to NYC Care members?

NYC Care is committed to providing services in many languages, including written translations and in-person or telephonic interpretation. Currently, interpretation services are available in over 250 languages and dialects at NYC Health + Hospitals.

Do we know how this would impact immigrant communities, especially considering reports of individuals dis-enrolling from benefits because of “public charge”?

It is important to know that the “public charge” rule has not changed, though there is a proposed change being considered by the federal government. New Yorkers who are eligible for health insurance benefits should continue to enroll in and utilize their health coverage. NYC Care will not be a public benefit if the federal proposed rule on public charge is finalized in the same form as proposed.

The City is committed to provide care and access to all New Yorkers regardless of public charge. If you have questions, the City is available to help get you free and confidential appointments with a trusted legal services provider. Call 311 and say “Action NYC” to make an appointment today.

Will the personal information about people getting services through NYC Care be protected?

Yes. NYC Health + Hospitals is committed to ensuring the privacy of its patients, and does not record or track immigration information about its patients. As a program of NYC Health + Hospitals, NYC Care will protect enrollee personal information to the fullest extent of the law.

Does H+H plan to recruit additional clinicians and other staff to ensure it can handle the anticipated increase in patients resulting from NYC Care?

Yes. NYC Health + Hospitals will be hiring more primary care clinicians. As of March, 2019, 37 are already on board, and there are plans to hire 60 more in the next two years.

What to Do

I want to sign up for NYC Care. How and when can I enroll?

Beginning summer 2019, there will be various ways you can sign up. In the meantime, NYC Health + Hospitals services are available across the five boroughs. New Yorkers can call 311 or visit nychealthandhospitals.org for more information or call 1-844-NYC-4NYC to make an appointment.

I need health care now. What should I do?

You can access health care now. If you need to make an appointment to see a doctor, call 1-844-NYC-4NYC. If you think you may be eligible for low or no cost health insurance, visit MetroPlus at www.metroplus.org or call 1-212-908-8600.