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New Enrollment Report from NY State of Health Shows First-Year Successes, Demonstrates Value of In-Person Enrollment Assistance

For Immediate Release: 

June 25, 2014



Elisabeth R. Benjamin, Community Service Society of New York, (917) 364-3332

(New York, NY) - New York's new health insurance marketplace has enrolled nearly a million New Yorkers, a majority of whom were previously uninsured, according to a new report released today. In-person enrollment assistance was key to this first-year enrollment success, particularly for low-income people, according to the report from NY State of Health.


"A strong network of about 9,000 in-person assistors - such as Navigators, Certified Application Counselors and brokers - helped nearly 50 percent of applicants enroll," said Kate Breslin, President and CEO of Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy. "The report shows how critical this assistance is, particularly for low-income consumers, as 59 percent of those enrolling in Medicaid got in-person help."


Several of the more than 160 consumer health organizations in the Health Care For All New York (HCFANY) coalition offered in-person enrollment assistance during the first open enrollment period, which ran from October 1 to March 31. In addition, many HCFANY organizations conducted intensive outreach to uninsured New Yorkers, referring them to in-person assistors in their own neighborhoods.


The majority of New Yorkers who gained health coverage during the open enrollment period were previously uninsured (63% of those in private plans and 93% of Medicaid enrollees). "Thanks to a single, streamlined web portal and application, many New Yorkers were able to access free or low-cost coverage for the first time," said Elisabeth Benjamin, Vice President of Health Initiatives at the Community Service Society of New York. "This report really underscores the maxim that 'if you build it, they will come' - here, in New York, not only did we build it, but we built it right, and boy did they come."


HCFANY leaders are delighted that the report includes the first data on the racial and ethnic breakdown and preferred language of enrollees, which points to the need for targeted outreach to certain communities, such as Korean- and Russian-speakers. HCFANY leaders urged the state to release this data by county as well. "We are eager to get additional data for race, ethnicity and preferred language of enrollees by county, so that we can strategically target our outreach and enrollment efforts to effectively address health disparities in immigrant communities and communities of color," said Lois Uttley, Director of Raising Women's Voices - NY. "We also look forward to working with the state to continue improving data collection on all New Yorkers, including those with disabilities."





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