Health Care For All: NYC Care Launches in Brooklyn and Staten Island
NYC Care will be available in every borough by the end of 2020.
Jan 30, 2020
The de Blasio Administration today launched NYC Care in Brooklyn and Staten Island, building on the Administration’s commitment to guaranteeing health care for all New Yorkers. The program will seek to enroll 15,000 members in Brooklyn and Staten Island within the first six months of launching. Over 13,000 New Yorkers have enrolled in NYC Care since its initial launch in the Bronx in August 2019, surpassing the program’s original goal of 10,000 in the first six months.
“In New York City, we believe that healthcare is a human right,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Already, NYC Care has brought 13,000 people in the Bronx access to quality, affordable health care. By expanding to Staten Island and Brooklyn, we can help even more New Yorkers get the care they need.”
NYC Care is the new health care access program operated by NYC Health + Hospitals (H+H) for New Yorkers who are not eligible for insurance or who cannot afford it. Since its launch in the Bronx, NYC Care has already begun to dramatically change the way the City’s public health system connects people to primary, preventive and specialty care. To date, NYC Care’s 13,000 members have had over 27,000 provider visits, with over 20,000 prescriptions filled during new, extended pharmacy hours.
Beginning today, NYC Care membership will now be open to anyone who has lived in the city for at least six months, lives or wants to seek care in Brooklyn or Staten Island, and is currently uninsured. All new NYC Care members will be offered a primary care appointment within two weeks from enrollment. H+H patient care locations in Brooklyn and Staten have added new evening and weekend hours to accommodate members. NYC Care applicants and members also have access to a 24/7 customer assistance line where they can ask questions about NYC Care and speak to an on-call clinician for all of their needs, including prescription refills.
In an effort to reach more New Yorkers eligible for NYC Care, nine community-based organizations (CBOs) will receive seven-month contracts through a partnership between NYC H+H, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to conduct culturally appropriate outreach to prospective NYC Care members in Brooklyn and Staten Island.
The nine community-based organizations – African Refuge, Brighton Neighborhood Association, Arab-American Family Support Center, Council of Peoples Organization (COPO), Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, Make the Road New York, Mixteca Organization, Project Hospitality, and Single Stop – were selected through a request for proposal process. A total of 23 full-time outreach workers will conduct grassroots outreach in order to identify, engage, and refer uninsured New Yorkers for screening and enrollment in NYC Care. Beginning today, these CBOS will begin outreach efforts in 20 languages, such as Spanish, Russian, Haitian Creole, Polish, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Arabic.
In addition, H+H is conducting a borough-wide multilingual public awareness campaign, including public transportation, the Staten Island Ferry and train, in-store posters, radio and street outreach in top targeted communities. There will also be significant multilingual digital advertisements and ethnic and community media engagement to reach those eligible for NYC Care. As part of the campaign, New Yorkers can also learn more about the program by calling 646-NYC-CARE as well as through a dedicated website at nyccare.nyc where they can download brochures and other materials available in multiples languages.
“NYC Care is a pillar of the de Blasio administration’s commitment to health care for all New Yorkers, and today, we are unlocking access to health care for thousands of people in Brooklyn and Staten Island,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Raul Perea-Henze. “With more than 13,000 members enrolled in the Bronx, NYC Care is making an impact for New Yorkers who need high-quality and affordable care, especially our immigrant communities. Everyone eligible in Brooklyn and Staten Island is urged to enroll today, and to tell their families, friends and neighbors about NYC Care. I thank NYC Health + Hospitals, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, and all our community partners for the ongoing success of NYC Care as we work to bring the program to every borough by the end of this year.”
“Starting today, New Yorkers in both Brooklyn and Staten Island will have much-needed access to high-quality, affordable, preventive care,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “This furthers our vision to fundamentally change the way our health care system connects those who are not eligible for health insurance to the high-quality health care we deliver to thousands of New Yorkers every day.”
“The launch of NYC Care in Brooklyn and Staten Island invites members regardless of their immigration status or ability to pay to use our system in a different way. All New Yorkers are entitled to receive primary and preventive and specialty care before it is too late and they must use the emergency department,” said NYC Care Executive Director Marielle Kress. “I am excited to continue our work with trusted organizations to reach thousands of New Yorkers who need access to care in Brooklyn and Staten Island.”
“Enrolling in NYC Care helps previously uninsured New Yorkers access primary care and prescription drugs in a timely manner, avoiding more serious and costly health problems down the line,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried. “There’s a clear need for the program, and I commend Mayor de Blasio, H+H, and the Office of Immigrant Affairs for extending it to patients in Brooklyn and on Staten Island.
“For the many thousands of immigrants and other vulnerable New Yorkers who have been forced to forgo essential medical care because they can’t obtain or afford health insurance, the NYC Care program is nothing less than a lifesaver,” said Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz. “I’m pleased that the Mayor’s office is expanding this important initiative to Brooklyn, where experienced community-based organizations like the Brighton Neighborhood Association will give residents the opportunity to connect with NYC Cares without even leaving their neighborhood.”
“The expansion of NYC Care to the Boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn is encouraging given the success and results taking place in the Bronx. Every new resident enrolled in the program is a step in the right direction toward ensuring every Staten Island resident has access to care. I look forward to working with health care providers in the North Shore to assure this program benefits those that need it most. Affordable, accessible health care is a human right and all efforts to extend this program for the most vulnerable who often have nowhere to go for emergency and general care will assist in the quality of life for all New Yorkers,” said Assembly Member Charles D. Fall.
“New Yorkers deserve access to quality and affordable health care. The expansion of NYC Care in Brooklyn and Staten Island means more New Yorkers will be able to prioritize preventative care and lead healthier lives. With health insurance being one of the single biggest expenses, the expansion of NYC Care is crucial to help ensure that New Yorkers will not have to think twice about going to a doctor. I welcome NYC Care to Brooklyn and applaud Mayor de Blasio and NYC Health and Hospitals for their dedication to this important issue,” said Assembly Member Joseph R. Lentol.
“NYC Care is a critical step in ensuring that finances, language, or immigration status are no longer barriers to healthcare. All members of our community deserve affordable healthcare that fits with their schedules, lifestyles, and cultural needs. I look forward to working with the Mayor’s office, H + H, and community organizations like the Arab-American Family Support Center to make that a reality,” said Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon.
“I want to congratulate Health + Hospitals on the expansion of the NYC Care program, which will now give thousands of Brooklynites and Staten Islanders easier access to an affordable primary care doctor and help alleviate demands in our busiest emergency rooms. As the federal administration continues to attempt to strip access to public benefits, New York City is ensuring that no one in the Five Boroughs is left behind. I look forward to working with the Mayor’s Office and H+H to ensure the continued roll out of NYC Care is successful and funded effectively,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Hospitals.
“Healthcare is a human right, and that means everybody, including our immigrant neighbors. As someone who represents one of the largest and most diverse immigrant populations in the City, I see everyday the impossible choices families often make between going to a doctor or putting food on the table. NYC Care has changed that equation forever, and I cannot wait to work with local organizations, like Mixteca, the Arab-American Family Support Center, and Make the Road New York to get as many people enrolled as possible in Brooklyn,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Chair of the New York City Council’s Committee on Immigration.
“I am happy to see diverse community-based organizations including the Council of Peoples Organization (COPO) in my district, working collaboratively with the de Blasio Administration to ensure Brooklyn residents can access the healthcare that they need to improve their quality of life,” said Council Member Farah N. Louis.
“There is nothing more important than providing hardworking New Yorkers with access to quality affordable healthcare, regardless of socioeconomic status” said Council Member Mathieu Eugene. “I want to commend the de Blasio Administration and NYC Health and Hospitals on today’s launch of NYC Care in Brooklyn and Staten Island, because I believe it will have a profound impact on our great city’s ability to provide essential healthcare services to those who need them most. Healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and we know of far too many cases of uninsured New Yorkers who are in need of medical treatment but cannot afford to see a doctor. With the launch of NYC Care, the City of New York is making a profound statement that we will work together to help underserved communities receive the medical resources they require, and I am most appreciative to the many community-based organizations who have worked very hard to make it a success.
“Today NYC Care moves closer to its mission of being a citywide program for all uninsured New Yorkers,” said Max Hadler, Director of Health Policy at the New York Immigration Coalition. “With immigrant communities and public benefits under attack by the Trump administration, the city is reinforcing an important message that affordable health care is a right for all regardless of immigration status. We look forward to working with NYC Health + Hospitals and trusted community-based organizations to ensure that all New Yorkers know they can and should get the health services they need.”
“In January 2019, Mayor de Blasio made a big commitment to New Yorkers to expand upon its already strong public health program to improve access to healthcare services for everyone, regardless of their immigration status. Today we are proud to work alongside our city and other advocates as NYC Care expands into Brooklyn and Staten Island, said Becca Telzak, Director of Health Programs at Make the Road New York. “This program has already, and will continue to, go a long way in increasing access to healthcare services for immigrants and low-income communities. At a time when immigrant communities are under attack, NYC Care stands as a symbol that all New Yorkers are welcome and valued in our city. We look forward to working with the administration and NYC Health + Hospitals to get the word out about this initiative and are looking forward to this ongoing partnership as the program is expanded citywide.”
“Single Stop is proud to collaborate with New York City to bring quality, affordable healthcare to low income New Yorkers in Brooklyn. Single Stop has worked for years to help low-income families overcome barriers to economic success. Access to healthcare has consistently been one of the biggest challenges low-income households face,” said Sarah Crawford, National Director, National Director of Partnerships and Programs, Single Stop. “We commend the Mayor’s Fund, MOIA, and NYC Health + Hospitals for prioritizing the health of all New Yorkers by providing this critical service and we look forward to playing a major role in this landmark program.”
“Mixteca Organization, Inc. is excited to partner with New York City’s recently introduced healthcare program, NYC Care, to inform and connect individuals to much needed healthcare services in Brooklyn, regardless of status,” said Executive Director Lorena Kourousias, Mixteca. “Serving as a critical and trusted information hub for Latinx immigrant communities, Mixteca recognizes the importance of having accessible preventative care, especially for immigrant communities. NYC Care will be an important and accessible resource for uninsured New Yorkers.”
“African Refuge is proud to have been selected to participate in NYC Care. We believe, it is a wonderful health option for the more than 600,000 New Yorkers who are uninsured, under-insured and either, unemployed, employed, documented or undocumented. It takes us back to a day when families had a family doctor. Someone they could call and trust to address their health concerns without waiting unnecessarily in an emergency room for hours,” said Reverend Judy L Brown, Executive Director, African Refuge. “We commend, The Mayor, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and NYC Health + Hospitals for taking a step in the right direction to achieve an important goal for our city and country, health care not just for some, but health care for all.”
“At the Council of Peoples Organization (COPO), we believe that access to affordable, quality healthcare is a fundamental human right. With NYC Care, New Yorkers will now be able to receive free or low-cost primary care from top-notch providers, all while maintaining their dignity and their wellbeing. COPO is proud to support NYC Care and will continue to advocate for the rights of all New Yorkers,” said Mohammad Razvi, CEO, Council of Peoples Organization.
“NYC Care will greatly improve the lives of Staten Islanders who cannot access or afford health insurance. Rather than waiting until a health problem becomes an emergency, our community members will be able to more easily access health care services at NYC Health & Hospitals facilities, as well as critical preventive and specialty care,” – Reverend Karen Jackson, Project Hospitality’s Director of Community Initiatives.