Expanding Health Care Coverage
November 21, 2014
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In the second year of open enrollment under the ACA, there is still a high need for direct assistance and face-to-face support to help individuals enroll in health insurance.
To engage uninsured New Yorkers and help them enroll in coverage, NYSHealth is funding outreach and enrollment activities at community-based organizations that serve as trusted messengers to their communities. Watch firsthand video accounts from three newly-insured New Yorkers who received enrollment assistance through the NYSHealth-supported Enrollment Network.
Why Getting Health Insurance Matters
Ben is a composer who currently works at an Off-Broadway show. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Ben was allowed to stay on his parents’ insurance until he turned 26 this past July. Ben did a lot of research on his own to see what his insurance options were, but he still had a lot of questions. Then a friend referred him to free assistance at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, where a counselor was able to answer all his questions and help him choose a plan. Now, Ben has coverage that’s helping to pay for his medications, and he plans to keep going to Callen-Lorde for primary care.
Between his part-time job at a retail pharmacy and his job as an after-school teacher, Jerome works every day of the week. Uninsured for years, he couldn’t afford to miss a day of work if he got sick or wanted to go to the doctor, even when it was necessary. With help from the Center for Frontline Retail, Jerome found out he was newly eligible for Medicaid under health reform in New York. Jerome is now covered so he can see a doctor when he needs to, stay healthy, and work toward becoming a full-time teacher.
Luis worked at The Plaza Hotel for 40 years; then he had a heart attack and had to leave his job to go on disability. When Luis’ employer-based coverage ended in September, he didn’t know how he would afford health care for himself and his wife, Carmen. He went to the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island for help with finding a new plan. Now, his new health insurance will allow Luis to get care for all his health conditions, including his neuropathy, diabetes, and heart problems.