New York

New York State of Health

It's been awhile since I've written anything about the ACA's Basic Health Plan (BHP) provision. BHP is a program which every state has the option of taking advantage of, but so far only two have: Minnesota and New York State. I'll let Louise Norris explain:

Under the ACA, most states have expanded Medicaid to people with income up to 138 percent of the poverty level. But people with incomes very close to the Medicaid eligibility cutoff frequently experience changes in income that result in switching from Medicaid to ACA’s qualified health plans (QHPs) and back. This “churning” creates fluctuating healthcare costs and premiums, and increased administrative work for the insureds, the QHP carriers and Medicaid programs.

via New York State of Health:

How NY State of Health Enrollees Benefit from the American Rescue Plan

The American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021, will lower health care costs by providing new and expanded financial assistance to New Yorkers enrolling in health insurance through NY State of Health. This enhanced assistance is available to current enrollees and new enrollees, including to higher-income individuals for the first time. Starting in early April, individuals with low and moderate incomes can access higher tax credits. Starting in June, NY State of Health will apply these higher tax credits to current enrollees without requiring any action by the enrollee. Also in June, higher-income New Yorkers can access the new tax credits.

The information on this page is organized into six sections. Click the section from the following list to learn how the American Rescue Plan can help you:

Thursday, March 18th:

Launching a new special-enrollment period – Covered California will open a new special-enrollment period – which will start on Monday, April 12 and run through the end of the year – to give uninsured and unsubsidized Californians time to sign up for coverage that starts as soon as May 1 and continue the outreach and enrollment effort to have marketing pay-off over time.

4:35pm this afternoon:

Today, President Biden announced that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is extending access to the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) until August 15 – giving consumers additional time to take advantage of new savings through the American Rescue Plan. This action provides new and current enrollees an additional three months to enroll or re-evaluate their coverage needs with increased tax credits available to reduce premiums.

In previous years, New York State of Health has typically been pretty good about providing timely Open Enrollment reports, so I was mildly irritated by their total radio silence on the issue throughout the 2021 Open Enrollment Period (OEP).

My suspicion was that, like many other states which have expanded Medicaid, New York likely saw a significant drop in on-exchange Qualified Health Plan (QHP) enrollment this season due to the massive job & income loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic last year, as people "downshifted" from QHPs over to Medicaid. In addition, New York is one of only two states which has the ACA's Basic Health Program (BHP) in place; BHP (called the Essential Plan in NY), is sandwiched in between QHPs and Medicaid, for residents earning between 138 - 200% FPL.

Late last night, NYSoH finally got around to releasing their 2021 OEP numbers. Sure enough, my suspicions were correct:

As I've expected, though I'm pretty irritated that they still haven't released any enrollment data to date. Via NY State of Health:

Press Release: Governor Cuomo Announces Open Enrollment for New Yorkers is Extended to May 15 as Federal Marketplace Reopens for Millions of Americans

  • New Yorkers Can Apply Now For Health Coverage Through NY State of Health or Directly Through Insurers
  • Aligns New York with the Federal Marketplace and Numerous State Marketplaces Extending Enrollment

As COVID-19 Response and Vaccine Distribution Continues Statewide, High-Quality Health Insurance More Important Than Ever

Not entirely unexpected, though I'm pretty irritated that they still haven't released any enrollment data to date. Via NY State of Health:

Press Release: Governor Cuomo Press Release: As Part of New York’s Ongoing Response to the COVID-19 Panedmic, Governor Cuomo Announces Open Enrollment for New Yorkers Extended Through March 31

As part of New York's ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Open Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers will be extended through March 31, 2021. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York's Official Health Plan Marketplace, or directly through insurers.

via NY State of Health:

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 06, 2021) – NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan Marketplace, wants New Yorkers to know it is not too late to get health insurance coverage for 2021, even if they have missed the December 31 enrollment deadline. The Marketplace is reminding consumers to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) by January 15 for coverage effective February 1. 

“NY State of Health remains steadfast in our commitment to getting uninsured New Yorkers the coverage they deserve,” said NY State of Health Executive Director, Donna Frescatore. “The marketplace continues to provide affordable, comprehensive health care options during the COVID-19 public health emergency, and we encourage anyone who needs health insurance to enroll now.”

The Marketplace offers many quality, low-cost health insurance options, with a choice of insurers in every county. Free enrollment assistors are available by phone to help individuals find the best plan for themselves and their families.

via NY State of Health:

Press Release: As Key Enrollment Deadline Approaches, NY State of Health is Urging Consumers to Sign up Today for Health Coverage Starting January 1

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 29, 2020) - NY State of Health, New York’s official health plan Marketplace today is reminding New Yorkers who are applying for Qualified Health Plan coverage, there is still time to enroll for health coverage effective January 1, 2021. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NY State of Health is giving New Yorkers more time to enroll in Qualified Health Plan Coverage – consumers who sign up by December 31, 2020, will have coverage starting January 1, 2021.

“High-quality, affordable health coverage is more important than ever as the pandemic continues to surge,” said NY State of Health Executive Director, Donna Frescatore. “With the December 31 deadline quickly approaching we encourage anyone who needs coverage to view their options, sign up today and start the New Year with appropriate coverage.”

Earlier this week California bumped out their "soft" enrollment deadline for January coverage from 12/15 to 12/30. Yesterday Colorado bumped theirs out to 12/18, and Connecticut tacked on an entire extra month to their Open Enrollment Period (though enrollees there won't start coverage until February at this point).

Today New York continues the trend:

Press Release: NY State of Health Reminds New Yorkers There is Still Time to Sign up for Coverage that Begins on January 1, 2021

Dec 17, 2020

(ALBANY, N.Y) December 17, 2020-- NY State of Health, New York’s official health plan Marketplace today announced New Yorkers applying for Qualified Health Plan coverage have until December 31 to sign up for health coverage starting January 1, 2021. Individuals who were unable to enroll by the December 15 deadline should enroll now by visiting the NY State of Health website.

It's turned into an annual tradition: The official annual ACA Open Enrollment Period (OEP) runs from November 1st - December 15th, but most of the state-based ACA exchanges have later deadlines. hThen, right around the 12/15 point, it begins: One by one, some of the state-based exchanges announce further extensions of their deadlines to #GetCovered for the upcoming year.

In some cases they simply bump out the deadline for coverage starting in January, with the final "hard" deadline for February or March coverage staying where it is. In other cases they were never allowing Open Enrollment start dates past January to begin with, so it's the hard deadline which is being extended.

In any event, here's this year's batch of announcements; note that this list could grow longer over the next week or two:

Pages