By The SATimes News Service
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Sept 16 announced that the Special Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers will be extended through December 31, 2020, as the State continues to provide supportive services during the COVID-19 public health crisis. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York State’s health insurance marketplace, or directly through insurers.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and it’s more important than ever for New Yorkers to have access to high-quality, affordable health insurance,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York has resources available to help those who need coverage during this difficult time, and anyone who doesn’t currently have health insurance, regardless of the reason, should visit NY State of Health and enroll today.”
New York State of Health Executive Director Donna Frescatore said, “With the ongoing public health emergency, the ability to enroll in coverage prior to next year remains important. The extension of the special enrollment period through the end of the year will overlap with the annual Open Enrollment Period, which will permit consumers to continue coverage into 2021 without a break in coverage. ”
Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell said, “Thanks to New Yorkers, we bent the COVID-19 curve. However, as the pandemic continues, it is especially important for New Yorkers to have access to high-quality, affordable health insurance. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York is establishing a special enrollment period through the end of the year, providing uninsured New Yorkers another opportunity to sign up for the health coverage they need.”
Individuals who have lost employer coverage must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage and individuals who have lost income may be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, Child Health Plus, or subsidized Qualified Health Plans.
Individuals who enroll in Qualified Health Plans through NY State of Health or directly through insurers by October 15, 2020 will have a choice of coverage start date of either October 1, 2020 or November 1, 2020. Those enrolling between October 16 and December 15, 2020 will have a choice of coverage start date of November 1 or December 1, 2020. Those enrolling between December 16 and December 31, 2020 would get a January 1, 2021 coverage start date. Importantly, consumers will have the option to continue their enrollment in the same plan in 2021 without a break in coverage. Individuals who are eligible for other NY State of Health programs – Medicaid, Essential Plan and Child Health Plus – can enroll year-round. Finally, as directed by Governor Cuomo, all New York insurers have waived cost sharing for COVID-19 testing.
As always, consumers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health online at nystateofhealth.ny.gov, by phone at 1-855-355-5777, and by connecting with a free enrollment assistor.