According to the U.S. Census, New York continues to do very well in lowering the number of uninsured. The latest numbers released on Sept. 16 show that we’re down to 8.7%, a full 2% reduction during 2014 alone, the first year of the various new coverage options available under the Affordable Care Act. Since these new options became available, over 2.5 million New Yorkers have enrolled in coverage through the state’s new health benefits exchange marketplace known as “New York State of Health” (NYSOH) as of this summer. 89% of them were previously uninsured. 90% of them report satisfaction with their coverage, according to a study by the New York State Health Foundation.
While this is all good news, there are plenty of “still uninsured” New Yorkers out there. With that in mind, and in anticipation of the upcoming Open Enrollment Period which begins on November 1st, leaders of Health Care for All New York, the Healthcare Education Project, and the Community Healthcare Association of New York have joined forces once again to convene a series of 8 regional meetings across the state during this Sept. and Oct. They are designed to bring all the various local stakeholders together to discuss how to keep building on the enrollment successes to date, and brief them on the new, low-cost “Essential Plan” for moderate-income people and families who don’t qualify for public programs because of their income.
The first of these “Health Coverage Outreach and Enrollment Summits” was held for the Hudson Valley on Sept. 17 in Fishkill, attended by approximately 75 people. The program began with a presentation from Danielle Holahan, Deputy Director for NYSOH, and Piper Allport, the organization’s Outreach Director. They discussed the latest data and plans for the upcoming open enrollment period, with a spotlight on the Essential Plan and how they will be promoting it. They were followed by a panel of stakeholders doing outreach and enrollment in the region including Maternal and Infant Services, Westchester Disabled on the Move, MVP Healthcare, Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center, and the Westchester Dept. of Health. The panelists shared their experiences over the past two years, discussed lessons learned, and offered recommendations for the year ahead. In the final hour, attendees broke up into smaller groups to discuss and brainstorm ideas for what could be done and how they might collaborate.
Upcoming summits will be held in the following regions:
- NYC: Bronx-Manhattan – Fri. afternoon Sept. 25 in Manhattan
- Long Island – Mon. morning Oct. 5 in Hicksville
- NYC: Staten Island – Tues. morning Oct. 6
- Central New York – Tues. afternoon Oct. 6 in Binghamton
- Western New York – Thurs. morning Oct. 8 in Buffalo
- Capital District – Thurs. afternoon Oct. 8 in Albany
- NYC: Brooklyn-Queens – Wed. morning Oct. 21 in Brooklyn