New York

Me, June 16th, after several months of various state-based ACA exchanges bumping out their COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period deadlines by a month, then another month, then another month:

At a certain point I'm guessing at least one of the state exchanges will just say "screw it" and open 2020 enrollment up for the full year.

The point of a deadline is a) to prevent people from trying to game the system by deliberately waiting until they're sick/injured before enrolling in coverage (thus driving up premiums for everyone else) and b) to goad people into actually taking action (deadlines do have a clear positive impact on enrollment). With the COVID-19 pandemic having thrown the entire healthcare system into disarray, neither of those seem to be much of a factor this year.

Maryland Connect, August 7th:

Hmmm...back in June, the New York Dept. of Financial Services published the preliminary 2021 rate filing requests for the individual & small group markets. As I noted at the time:

Hmmmm....some of these seem suspiciously high, at least as compared to the handful of other states which have released their preliminary requests so far, but we'll have to see...

Well, today the NY DFS issued the approved 2021 rates for both markets, and sure enough, they've been reduced pretty significantly:

DFS ANNOUNCES 2021 HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUM RATES, PROTECTING CONSUMERS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Just a few days after the previous COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period expired, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered NY State of Health to reopen their SEP through September 15th:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Special Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers will be extended for another 30 days, through September 15, 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.

"While we've crushed the curve of the virus, we are still in challenging times for hard-working families throughout the state who need access to quality, affordable health care," Governor Cuomo said. "The state has maintained low infection rates and is moving in the right direction, but we know we're not out of the woods yet. By offering this special enrollment period, we're making sure New Yorkers who need affordable and at times live-saving health care coverage can get it."

via Greg Land at Benefits Pro:

Amid a pandemic-stricken nation struggling to find ways to reopen, massive unemployment and employees lucky enough to have jobs hanging onto them as tightly as possible, New York health care strategists are floating a plan to offer health insurance tax credits assistance to loan-saddled college graduates who have no overage or fear of losing what they do have.

As envisioned in a new report released last week by the United Hospital Fund, recent college graduates could be allowed to deduct the monthly costs of their student loan payments from their total adjusted income as calculated under the Affordable Care Act. 

Hardly surprising...again.

via the New York State government website:

Special Enrollment for Uninsured New Yorkers Will Extend for Additional 30 days and Remain Open Through August 15, 2020

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Special Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers will be extended for another 30 days, through August 15, 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.

On March 16th, New York's ACA exchange, NY State of Health, announced that they'd be launching a COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period with a deadline of April 15th. As that date approached, in the middle of the worst pandemic to hit New York State 100 years, the deadline was extended out by a month, through May 15th.

When that deadline approached, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the COVID-19 SEP to be bumped out by another month.

And now, with the June 15th deadline having come and gone, lo and behold:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced low-risk youth sports for regions in phase three of reopening can begin on July 6th with up to two spectators allowed per child. 

New York is the fifth state (well, fourth really) to announce their preliminary 2021 health insurance policy premium rate changes for the individual and small group markets (thanks to Michael Capaldo for the heads up):

NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL SERVICES

2021 INDIVIDUAL AND SMALL GROUP REQUESTED RATE ACTIONS

6/5/2020

Health insurers in New York have submitted their requested rates for 2021, as set forth in the charts below. These are the rates proposed by health insurers, and have not been approved by DFS.

On March 16th, New York's ACA exchange, NY State of Health, announced that they'd be launching a COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period with a deadline of April 15th. As that date approached, in the middle of the worst pandemic to hit New York State 100 years, the deadline was extended out by a month, through May 15th.

Now as that deadline approaches, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered the COVID-19 SEP to be bumped out by another month:

Amid Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, Governor Cuomo Outlines Additional Guidelines for When Regions Can Re-Open

On March 16th, New York's ACA exchange, NY State of Health, announced that they'd be launching a COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period with a deadline of April 15th.

Today, on top of several other state-based exchanges bumping out their COVID SEP deadlines, it appears that NY is doing so as well. This is hardly surprising given that the state has been slammed the hardest of any in the country by the pandemic.

There's no official press release or announcement as of yet, but according to Bloomberg News, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement at a press conference today:

12:02:30 pm - Angelica LaVito Health-Care Reporter  @angelicalavito

New York is extending open enrollment for health insurance through May 15, Cuomo says.

Update: Here's the official press release...there's some other important details included as well:

SUMMARY OF #COVID-19 SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIODS:

ALL OTHER STATES: You may qualify for a 60-day Special Enrollment Period (SEP) if you've recently lost (or will soon lose) your employer-based healthcare coverage, or if you've experienced other Qualifying Life Events (QLE) such as getting marrinew yorked/divorced, moving, giving birth/adopting a child, getting out of prison, turning 26 etc. For these SEPs you may have to provide documentation to verify your QLE. Visit HealthCare.Gov or your state's ACA exchange website for details on the process.

Yesterday the first confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) was reported in the nation's largest city:

A 39-year-old Manhattan woman has tested positive for COVID-19, more commonly known as the novel coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said late Sunday. She is the first confirmed case in the city and in the tri-state area.

"The patient, a woman in her late thirties, contracted the virus while traveling abroad in Iran, and is currently isolated in her home," Cuomo said in making the announcement late Sunday.

The governor said that the woman is a health care worker, and that her background allowed her to take the appropriate precautions and seek testing. She flew back to New York on Tuesday but did not take mass transit home, Cuomo said Monday. As a precaution, the people on her flight and the ride-share driver are being notified about potential exposure, but Cuomo said the woman was not thought to be contagious at that time. She has respiratory symptoms but Cuomo described them as mild.

This Just In from the NY State of Health ACA exchange:

Press Release: NY State of Health Announces Record High Enrollment More than 4.9 Million New Yorkers Enrolled

  • One in four New Yorkers enrolled through NY State of Health
  • Enrollment through the Marketplace increased by over 150,000 from last year

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 20, 2020) - NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan Marketplace, today announced that over 4.9 million people, more than one in four New Yorkers, signed up for health coverage through NY State of Health during this year’s Open Enrollment Period. With an increase of 150,000 people over 2019, enrollment is at a record level, including more than 1 million people enrolled in Qualified Health Plans and the Essential Plan. Marketplace enrollment growth is consistent with New York’s declining uninsured rate, which reached a historic low of 4.7 percent. Open Enrollment ran from November 1, 2019, through February 7, 2020.

One more reminder from the New York State of Health ACA exchange:

Press Release: NY State of Health Urges New Yorkers: Don’t Miss this Opportunity to Enroll in Health Coverage!

  • Open Enrollment Ends February 7
  • Thousands of Free, In-Person Assistors Available to Help Consumers

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 5, 2020) – NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan Marketplace, is encouraging New Yorkers who need health coverage to enroll in a 2020 Qualified Health Plan (QHP) by this Friday, February 7. The Open Enrollment deadline was extended an additional week to give consumers more time to find the health plan that fits their needs and enroll in coverage for 2020. Already, enrollment through NY State of Health is at its highest point ever, with more than 4.8 million New Yorkers enrolled in a health plan.

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