The following information details health insurance and assistance programs available to uninsured people in New York.
New York Insurance Department - (800) 342-3736
Residents of New York cannot be turned down from purchasing an individual health insurance policy regardless of any health conditions they may have. This is called guaranteed issue. In addition, residents cannot be charged a higher rate for their policy because of their health status. This is called community rating. The New York Insurance Department may be able to help you locate names and phone numbers of possible insurers who will sell you this type of policy. Please contact them for more information.
If you are having a problem with your state-regulated health plan and you are unable to resolve it with the plan directly, file a complaint with the Insurance Department. They may be able to provide you with assistance in reaching a conclusion.
New York Consumer's Guide to Health
The 2008 New York Consumer's Guide to Health provides information about the wide range of health care options available in in the state and enables New Yorkers to compare commercial and non-profit health insurers as well as health maintenance organizations (HMOs) on a variety of factors, from services offered to overall consumer satisfaction. This guide can assist you in finding the best health care plan for you and your family.
New York Medicaid - (518) 486-9057
Medicaid is available to anyone who meets income and eligibility criteria. Even if your income meets the criteria, you must fall into one of the eligibility categories in order to qualify. Contact your state Medicaid program for more information.
Healthy New York - (866) 432-5849
The goal of the Healthy NY program is to provide health insurance coverage to eligible uninsured working individuals and self-employed individuals. This program is also available to small businesses that are not currently offering health insurance coverage to their employees. You must meet certain income eligibility criteria to qualify. Please contact Healthy New York for more information.
Child Health Plus (CHPlus) - State Children’s Health Insurance Program - (800) 698-4543
Child Health Plus is the health insurance program designed to provide health insurance to children and teens under age 19 whose family may have too great an income to qualify for Medicaid, but who may not be able to afford health insurance. Visit the Web site to find out if you or your child meets the income guidelines.
New York Family Health Plus - (877) 934-7587
Family Health Plus is a health care program for uninsured adults between the ages of 19 and 64 who have incomes too high to qualify for New York ’s Medicaid program. Family Health Plus is available to single adults, couples without children, and parents with limited incomes. Individuals must meet residency and certain immigration qualifications to be eligible.
Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP)
Through the Affordable Care Act, uninsured people with diabetes who have been continually uninsured for six months or more will be able to access insurance through a new program called the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP). PCIP, which is administered by either your state or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will be available until the provisions banning discrimination based on pre-existing conditions are fully implemented in 2014.
PCIP will be available in every state, but the program may vary depending on the state. Currently, many states run programs, often called “high risk pools,” to offer insurance for those with pre-existing conditions. To build on what states are already doing, states can either run a new program with resources from the Affordable Care Act or rely on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide coverage. Please check out the State Plans page to learn more about how PCIP works in your state. https://www.pcip.gov/PCIP_States.html
Local Community Health Clinics
If you or your loved one is unable to see a physician due to the cost of care, there may be a local community health clinic in your area. These clinics generally are free to patients or require a very small fee. Find a clinic in your area.
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