Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that his GetCoveredNYC campaign helped enroll 80,000 New Yorkers in new health insurance plans last year, surpassing the goal to enroll 50,000 New Yorkers in quality, affordable health insurance in 2017. This coincides with a decline in the number of uninsured patients served by NYC Health + Hospitals last year.
Last week, the New York State Department of Health released county-wide data on health insurance enrollment. As of the close of Open Enrollment on January 31, 2018, over 2,267,000 New York City residents are now insured through the New York State of Health, the health insurance marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This is an increase of more than 263,200 new enrollments, or 13%, over the previous year.
For the time period coinciding with the New York State Department of Health release, February 2017 through January 2018, GetCoveredNYC enrolled over 75,600 New Yorkers in new health insurance plans, representing over 28% of all enrollments in New York City during that period.
“This year’s increase in enrollment is indisputable proof that people need affordable health care,” said Mayor de Blasio. “In the face of federal divestment and purposefully misleading rhetoric, in New York City we’re doing everything in our power to connect them to it.”
Created by Mayor de Blasio in 2016, GetCoveredNYC is a citywide outreach initiative that helps all New Yorkers enroll in health insurance and access primary and preventive care. The initiative is a partnership between the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit, NYC Health + Hospitals, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Human Resources Administration and MetroPlus Health Plan.>
GetCoveredNYC outreach specialists proactively engage uninsured New Yorkers, providing free support in over 12 languages to help people understand their eligibility and assist them throughout the enrollment process. The initiative also partners with elected officials and community-based organizations to further raise awareness of health insurance options through local events throughout the year in neighborhoods across the city. During the most recent annual Open Enrollment Period, from November 2017 through January 2018, during which time all New Yorkers can enroll, renew or change their health insurance plan, GetCoveredNYC ran a $1.9 million multilingual advertising campaign – a 58 percent increase from the previous year’s ad buy – to increase awareness of the free service and New York’s extended enrollment period, which lasted six weeks beyond the federal enrollment deadline.
During Open Enrollment alone, GetCoveredNYC:
Conducted outreach through door knocks, phone calls, and flyering to over 130,000 New Yorkers;
Held over 300 enrollment events with community groups, elected officials and city partners;
Handed out flyers at over 20 subways stations during three days of action.
Many New Yorkers are eligible to enroll in health insurance throughout the year. GetCoveredNYC continues to conduct proactive outreach to provide free enrollment assistance to all New Yorkers who can enroll year-round, including those who meet the income requirements for Medicaid or the Essential Plan’s low- or no-cost health insurance. New Yorkers with a qualifying life event, such as a change in marital status, can also enroll year-round. A full list of qualifying life events is available on the New York State of Health’s website. New Yorkers can call 311 or text CoveredNYC (SeguroNYC in Spanish) to 877877 to speak with a GetCoveredNYC enrollment specialist.
“Having health insurance and being proactive about your health care can be the difference between life and death,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. “This tremendous effort is another example of how New York City is continuing to provide New Yorkers with access to healthcare and alleviate the economic burden they feel associated with it.”
“These impressive health insurance enrollment numbers demonstrate the power of the strong partnership across the administration as well as the impact of the unique outreach skill of GetCoveredNYC’s enrollment specialists” said Regina Schwartz, director of the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit. “New Yorkers want health insurance and they took action to get it! Bringing this important, free service directly to New Yorkers – where they live and work – and simplifying the enrollment process really worked to help our most vulnerable community members enroll in affordable, quality insurance that improves health outcomes and saves lives.”
“Expanding insurance coverage is a critical priority to connect people to primary care and to reduce the incidence of expensive episodic care,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, president and chief executive officer of NYC Health + Hospitals. “Significantly surpassing last year’s enrollment target means more than just the numbers; it means improving the quality of more people’s lives.”
“New York City has made tremendous progress in connecting New Yorkers to affordable health insurance, even as we battle attacks from Washington that seek to weaken the Affordable Care Act,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “Health insurance not only provides New Yorkers affordable care when they get sick, but also access to the regular, preventive care services they need to maintain good health.”
“At a time when the federal government is putting access to affordable health care at risk, it is critical to provide New Yorkers with the information they need to ensure that they have the coverage they are eligible for,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “By joining together across agencies, New York City has succeeded in driving that critical message home as demonstrated by the substantial increase in enrollments. We will continue proactive outreach to educate all New Yorkers about how to access health care coverage.”
“MetroPlus was proud to partner with Get Covered through this open enrollment period and looks forward to continuing to work together throughout the year. Our collaboration has allowed us to reach more New Yorkers than ever before and provide our city’s residents with the affordable health insurance choice that is right for their family,” said President and CEO of MetroPlus Health Plan Arnold Saperstein.
“GetCoveredNYC has been a tremendous success because our City understands just how important insurance coverage is for working families. I am pleased to see such great progress, and I will continue working to make sure quality, affordable health coverage is available to every New Yorker,” said U.S. Representative Eliot Engel.
“The numbers speak for themselves. This remarkable increase in enrollees shows that Americans need high-quality, affordable healthcare,” said U.S. Representative Joe Crowley, Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. “This successful enrollment period also highlights why it is imperative that Congress do more to expand access to health care for all Americans and resist President Trump and congressional Republicans’ attempts to undermine the Affordable Care Act.”
“The GetCoveredNYC campaign’s success in enrolling 80,000 New Yorkers in health insurance plans through New York’s marketplace demonstrates the need there is for affordable and quality health care,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Ranker on the Senate Health Committee. “I am proud that our City has taken such an active role in ensuring more New Yorkers have access to affordable and quality health care options.”
“I would like to commend Mayor Bill De Blasio for his GetCoveredNYC initiative,” said State Senator Jamaal Bailey. “Ensuring that New Yorkers are covered with health insurance is a top priority in the state, especially when it is currently being threatened in Washington. I would like to thank the Mayor for informing constituents in the 36th senatorial district about the importance and necessity of being covered.”
“Get Covered NYC continues to offer vital services to families in the 19th Senatorial District,” said State Senator Roxanne Persaud. “New Yorkers depend on quality insurance to keep their families healthy and their finances stable, especially in times of crisis and other stressful health related events. My constituents deserve access to affordable health insurance and I am proud to help Get Covered NYC continue to succeed in its vital mission.”
“No one should have to go without health care, or face financial barriers to access,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried. “GetCoveredNYC helps thousands of New Yorkers learn about and enroll in appropriate coverage options, reaching people in their own communities with culturally appropriate education, outreach, and enrollment assistance.”
“An important quality that all Americans take pride in is our healthcare system,” said Assembly Member Jaime Williams. “The recent confusion around the Affordable Care Act caused a chaotic backlash. The Mayor’s initiative to implement GetCoveredNYC has literally allowed for the saving of lives and the ability for many to once again possess health insurance. The ambassadors of this wonderful program have exceeded the anticipated enrollment and have proven once again the importance of community outreach. I am proud to have been a part of this incredible, successful endeavor and I look forward to being able to continue to work with GetCoveredNYC and their consummate professional team. The constituents of the 59th Assembly District and New York City in general are better off thanks to this program.”
“While President Trump does everything he can to derail the progress we’ve made in insuring New Yorkers over the past decade, the success of GetCoveredNYC is incredible news,” said Council Member Mark Levine, Chair of the City Council’s Health Committee. “Connecting New Yorkers to affordable, quality care is more important than ever. We must continue aggressively pursuing enrollments until every New Yorker has the coverage they, and their families deserve.”
“80,000 New Yorkers today now have access to healthcare through affordable insurance plans thanks to the efforts of programs like GetCoveredNYC,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Hospitals. “These enrollment increases are key to our efforts to stabilize the financial situation at Health + Hospitals, whose system is the first choice for so many populations, including our most vulnerable New Yorkers. We must continue to support successful campaigns like GetCoveredNYC and ensure high-quality care is available to all.”
“Chinese American-Planning Council has been proud to partner with GetCoverdNYC to provide essential health insurance assistance to those in need,” said Wayne Ho, President and CEO of Chinese-American Planning Council. “We commend the Mayor for his efforts to secure quality coverage and care for New Yorkers.”
“Increased enrollment in New York City, despite massive confusion stemming from year-long efforts to repeal the ACA, further demonstrates that young people and all New Yorkers want and need access to quality, affordable coverage. New York is leading the pack in how to implement the law to best serve its residents, and other cities should learn from the successful efforts of GetCoveredNYC,” said Young Invincibles Northeast Director Marissa Martin.
Lori Lodes, co-founder of Get American Covered said, “New York proved that investing in education and outreach translates into more people signing up for health coverage. New York enrollment was among the highest in the country because of the commitment GetCoveredNYC and New York State of Health made to helping people understand their options and getting them covered.”