New York

With all the concern over the rapidly spreading coronavirus epidemic and how uninsured people in particular can be expected to pay for testing and treatment of the disease, Andrew Sprung and Dave Anderson have reminded me that uninsured residents of California, the District of Columbia and Maryland may still be able to get covered via their respective ACA exchanges.

CALIFORNIA: You have until April 30th: (June 30th...see update below)

New Special-Enrollment Period Announced

Covered California also announced that effective Feb. 18 it will establish a special-enrollment period for those who were unaware of the state penalty or the new financial help. Consumers who fall into those categories, or who are currently insured off exchange (directly through an insurer) and want to switch to Covered California to benefit from the new state subsidies, will have through April 30 to sign up for coverage.

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.

New York State of Health is doing their best to calm people down as much as possible:

Fact Sheet:: What you Need to Know About the New Federal Public Charge Rule and Health Insurance

Updated 1/29/20

When does the new Public Charge rule go into effect?

  • The Supreme Court decided on January 27, 2020, to allow the rule to take effect.

Does enrolling in free or low-cost health insurance make me a Public Charge?

  • Most health insurance coverage is not a factor in the new Public Charge test. Only federally-funded Medicaid is included, and even for this program there are several exempt groups of people who are excluded under the rule, including pregnant women and children under 21. Additionally, asylees, refugees, and visa holders who are victims of trafficking and other crimes, among others, are entirely exempt from the Public Charge rule.

The following programs are not included in the Public Charge rule:

Last March I wrote an analysis of H.R.1868, the House Democrats bill that comprises the core of the larger H.R.1884 "ACA 2.0" bill. H.R.1884 includes a suite of about a dozen provisions to protect, repair and strengthen the ACA, but the House Dems also broke the larger piece of legislation down into a dozen smaller bills as well.

Some of these "mini-ACA 2.0" bills only make minor improvements to the law, or make improvements in ways which are important but would take a few years to see obvious results. Others, however, make huge improvements and would be immediately obvious, and of those, the single most dramatic and important one is H.R.1868.

The official title is the "Health Care Affordability Act of 2019", but I just call both it and H.R.1884 (the "Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions and Making Health Care More Affordable Act of 2019") by the much simpler and more accurate moniker "ACA 2.0".

Last March I wrote an analysis of H.R.1868, the House Democrats bill that comprises the core of the larger H.R.1884 "ACA 2.0" bill. H.R.1884 includes a suite of about a dozen provisions to protect, repair and strengthen the ACA, but the House Dems also broke the larger piece of legislation down into a dozen smaller bills as well.

Some of these "mini-ACA 2.0" bills only make minor improvements to the law, or make improvements in ways which are important but would take a few years to see obvious results. Others, however, make huge improvements and would be immediately obvious, and of those, the single most dramatic and important one is H.R.1868.

The official title is the "Health Care Affordability Act of 2019", but I just call both it and H.R.1884 (the "Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions and Making Health Care More Affordable Act of 2019") by the much simpler and more accurate moniker "ACA 2.0".

This just in from the New York State of Health ACA exchange:

Press Release: New Yorkers Have More Time to Get Covered in 2020: NY State of Health Open Enrollment Deadline Extended to February 7

  • Enroll Now for Affordable, High-Quality Health Coverage in 2020
  • Free, In-Person Enrollment Help is Available: Click Here to Find a NY State of Health Certified Assistor

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 28, 2020) – NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan Marketplace, announced that consumers will have an additional week to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) for 2020. The Open Enrollment deadline has been extended until February 7 to give consumers more time to enroll. NY State of Health’s Customer Service Center representatives and in-person assistors are available to help individuals find the best plan for themselves and their families.

Huh. That's unexpected.

via New York State of Health:

Certified In-Person Assistors Provide Enrollment Opportunities at MLK Day Events Across the State Leading up to January 31 Enrollment Deadline

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 16, 2020) – NY State of Health, the State’s official health plan Marketplace, today announced participation in several Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events being held throughout the State. Certified In-Person Assistors will be at events celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to ensure New Yorkers have access to high-quality, affordable health care and to answer questions regarding enrolling or re-enrolling through the Marketplace. All events are open to the public.

“We are excited to meet New Yorkers at events celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to help them find a quality, low-cost health plan during Open Enrollment,” said NY State of Health Executive Director Donna Frescatore. “Enrollment in a 2020 Qualified Health Plan runs through January 31, and our participation in these events offers New Yorkers another opportunity to complete the enrollment process.”

This just in from the New York State of Health ACA exchange:

More Than 200,000 New Yorkers Enroll in a Qualified Health Plan During First Forty-One Days of the 2020 Open Enrollment Period

  • December 15 is the Deadline to Enroll for January 1 Coverage

(ALBANY, N.Y.) December 12, 2019 - NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan Marketplace today announced that as of December 11, more than 200,000 consumers have enrolled in a 2020 Qualified Health Plan (QHP) through NY State of Health, the official health plan Marketplace, outpacing enrollment in a QHP at the same period last year by approximately 7,000 enrollees. Consumers must enroll or renew by December 15 for coverage beginning January 1, 2020.

Assistors Available On-Site at Winter Markets Across the State

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 3, 2019) – NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan Marketplace, today announced its continued partnership with NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets in an effort to educate shoppers at farmers markets throughout New York State about low-cost, high-quality health coverage during the Open Enrollment Period.

Consumers must enroll by December 15, 2019 for coverage beginning January 1, 2020. Certified Enrollment Assistors will be available leading up to the December 15 deadline at select markets to answer any questions about enrolling in a health plan through the Marketplace and to set up enrollment appointments. In addition, NY State of Health educational materials will be available at select farmers’ markets across the state. This is the fourth year of the NY State of Health-NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets partnership.

Smart idea via the NY State of Health ACA exchange:

Increased Visits to Food Pantries During Holiday Season Provide Opportunity to Reach Uninsured New Yorkers

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 25, 2019) – NY State of Health, the state's official health plan Marketplace, today announced its partnership with food pantries for the third holiday season to educate consumers about enrolling in high quality, affordable health insurance. Food pantries across New York will have certified enrollment assistors on-site throughout November and December to answer questions about health coverage options and how to enroll in a health plan. This year, the Marketplace is also offering eligible New Yorkers the option to receive information on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during the enrollment process.

Arrrrgh! Don't ask me why, but for some reason I forget about this weird policy of NY State of Health every year:

Press Release: NY State of Health Announces Annual Renewal Begins Saturday

  • 500,000 New York State Households Expected to Renew Their Health Plan for the 2020 Plan Year
  • Consumers Must Enroll or Renew by December 15 for Coverage Effective January 1

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 14, 2019) - NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan Marketplace, today announced that beginning November 16, the Marketplace will be open for individuals looking to renew or change their health plan for 2020. Open Enrollment for new customers seeking to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan began November 1 and runs through January 31, 2020.  New Yorkers must enroll by December 15 for coverage beginning January 1, 2020.

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