New York Extends Special Uninsured Enrollment Through 2020

ALBANY, New York (AP) -
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

Uninsured New Yorkers can now apply for health insurance coverage through the end of the year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday those people can apply for coverage through New York’s health insurance marketplace or directly through insurers.

The special enrollment period will run through Dec. 31.

New York state health officials and insurers say they’re offering the special enrollment period so people don’t avoid seeking testing or medical care because of lack of health insurance coverage.

Typically, people who lose workplace insurance have 60 days from when their coverage ended to apply for insurance on their state’s marketplace.

Most states that run their own health insurance marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act have provided an extended sign-up period for people who lost coverage in the pandemic.

People who have lost income may be eligible for programs like Medicaid, which has year-round enrollment.

About 6.3 million New Yorkers were enrolled in Medicaid as of May, according to the most recent state data available online, up from 6 million in January.

Over 8,000 people signed up for health insurance through the state’s marketplace amid the pandemic.

The state received over 3.6 million claims for unemployment assistance from mid-March through Sept. 5, up from roughly 385,000 in that period last year.

About 445,000 New Yorkers have tested positive for the coronavirus, including roughly 20,000 over the past month.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and it’s more important than ever for New Yorkers to have access to high-quality, affordable health insurance,” Cuomo said.