NYC Health + Hospitals today celebrated the two-year anniversary of NYC Care, the City’s health care access program for New Yorkers who cannot afford or are not eligible for health insurance. The program recently surpassed 80,000 members. Today’s celebration kicks-off a week-long, city-wide membership drive with partnering community-based organizations (CBOs) to help the program reach 100,000 members. Among the first events was with BronxWorks in the Bronx, where community members were able to access free food and giveaways, and learn more about NYC Care, as well as other support services and general health information, in a lively community event catered to adults and family alike. COVID-19 vaccines were also available on-site. Mayor de Blasio featured the anniversary event in “City Hall in Your Borough: The Bronx.”
The de Blasio administration health care access program to fulfill its commitment of guaranteed health care access for all New Yorkers regardless of income or immigration status, first launched in the Bronx in August 2019 and became available at all NYC Health + Hospitals patient-care sites city-wide in September 2020.
“It’s incredible to celebrate NYC Care’s two-year anniversary and all the New Yorkers we’ve been able to provide high-quality, affordable health care to,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President of Ambulatory Care and Population Health Ted Long, MD, MHS. “Being able to see new patients who haven’t seen a primary care provider for decades – or ever in their lives – shows we’ve been able to create sustainable access to crucial health care. By connecting people in a permanent way to care, we have begun to see improvements in chronic diseases among this group of patients, and so much more.
“This important milestone would not have been possible without the work of our trusted CBOs who have helped us reach nearly 100,000 members,” NYC Care Executive Director Marielle Kress. “But our work isn’t done. We will continue to reach New Yorkers and prove our commitment to comprehensive, high-quality, and affordable health care. Our public health system believes that health care is a basic human right and we’ll continue to ensure every New Yorker knows we’re here for them.”
Throughout the membership drive, 25 community events will take place throughout the five boroughs with the support of the program’s 30 partnering CBOs. Events will include information on and assistance with enrolling in NYC Care, as well as other support services provided by partners and important health information. Some events will also have food distribution and on-site COVID-19 vaccines. A full schedule of the membership drive events can be found here.
“NYC Care’s two-year anniversary marks a critical milestone in the work to build a healthier NYC,” said Raquel Batista, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA). “Reaching over 100,000 New Yorkers to date, the program is a vital lifeline for immigrant communities and low-income New Yorkers. MOIA is proud to congratulate NYC Care at this exciting moment, and we look forward to continuing to support these crucial efforts.”
“Since its inception, BronxWorks has been a staunch supporter and advocate of NYC Care. We are thrilled to be a part of this major enrollment milestone and will continue to work to ensure that all of our community members understand their options and have access to affordable, quality health care. The BronxWorks partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals and NYC Care is intrinsic to our mission and commitment to our Bronx neighbors,” said BronxWorksExecutive Director Eileen Torres.
NYC Care recently released video testimonials featuring four immigrant New Yorkers who shared their personal tales of struggles without health insurance and how the public health system’s NYC Care program got them back on track to live their healthiest life. Click here to view the videos.
“Congratulations to NYC Care on the occasion of the program’s anniversary, as well as surpassing 80,000 members! In the past year, NYC Care’s community-based model has saved countless lives by providing New Yorkers disproportionately affected by COVID-19 with access to healthcare, testing, and support,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera, Chair of the Committee on Hospitals. “As NYC Care kicks off the push for 100,000 members, I look forward to continuing to work together as the program expands to provide healthcare access to every New Yorker.”
“People need prompt and consistent access to health care, like that provided by NYC Care, to maintain their health and avoid more serious and expensive complications down the line,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried. “By having patients see the same primary care practitioners (PCP), NYC Care is also building trust, which increases the likelihood a patient will return to see their PCP rather than avoid care and end up in an emergency room. I commend Mayor de Blasio and NYC Health + Hospitals CEO Dr. Mitch Katz on two years of expanding access to health care for all New Yorkers regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has once again shown us how critically important it is that Bronx residents and New Yorkers in general, in all communities, have access to healthcare services. I want to congratulate the Office of the Mayor, NYC Health + Hospitals, and the partnering community-based organizations on celebrating two years of NYC Care, and I encourage my constituents who need health coverage to get themselves enrolled,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“For the last two years, NYC Care has been able to provide thousands of uninsured New Yorkers with the proper healthcare that they need. I applaud NYC Health + Hospitals for all they’ve accomplished with this program in these last two years. With the help of CBOs, the program provides care to thousands of uninsured patients, many of whom live below the Federal Poverty Line. NYC Care is vital to helping fill in the gaps of our healthcare system, said State Senator Luis Sepúlveda.”
To enroll in NYC Care, New Yorkers can call 1-646-NYC-CARE. For more information, visit nyccare.nyc.
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.