If you have recently lost your job, you may you may be able to continue your health plan coverage under COBRA or New York State Health Insurance continuation rights.
If your employer has less than 20 employees, you have the right to pay for the continuation of your coverage for up to 29 months, under the federal law called COBRA; and up to 18 months under New York law.
Check out www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq_consumer_cobra.html or call toll-free 1.866.275.7922 to learn more about COBRA coverage.
There are times when getting your own New York Health insurance could prove to be less expensive than enrolling under COBRA. Make sure you act quickly, since you only have about 60 days to sign up for COBRA, if you so decide to continue your current coverage.
Georgetown University has also developed a Consumer's Guide to Getting and Keeping Health Insurance. It outlines your rights and protection under federal and state law, as a NY resident, if you buy, keep or switch New York State health insurance. Check it out at http://www.healthinsuranceinfo.net.
New York State Health Insurance if You're Working and Unisured or Underinsured
If you are thinking of buying New York State health insurance through the private health insurance market, make sure that the insurance company your are getting the coverage from has been licensed in New York.
You can contact the New York State Health Insurance Division at 1.800.342.3736, if you have any questions. You can also contact the NYC Managed Care Consumer Assistance Program at 212-614-5400 for more assistance when buying private insurance.
This site is full of tips to help you buy the right health insurance coverage for you and for your family. So take the time to educate yourself and avoid falling into scams or wasting your money.
Affordable New York Self Employed Health Insurance
You may also be eligible for the state-sponsored Healthy NY Program, which offers streamlined New York State health insurance coverage at a reduced cost to eligible individuals, soleproprietors and small businesses. To learn more about this option, visit the Healthy NY or call toll-free 1.866.HealthyNY.
Affordable New York Small Business Health Insurance
Remember, small businesses with two to 50 employees cannot be refused small group health insurance, nor can health insurance be terminated due to illness in the employee group.
If you wish to get a free, no obligation quotes for New York State Health Insurance for small businesses, just click here.
Healthy New York is a program whereby small businesses with low income employees are able to buy group insurance. Community rating determines the premiums of small businesses.
A small business with two to 50 employees, and in only certain areas of the state, such as Five Boroughs of New York City, Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Nassau, Suffolk Counties, is allowed to join a purchasing pool for the purpose of group health insurance coverage.
While it is difficult to find companies who will insure you if you are already expecting, you definitely still have a number of options to help you get the health care coverage you need during this period. Find out where to get maternity health insurance if you're already pregnant.
If you're already pregnant and don't have New York State maternity health insurance, check out New York's Prenatal Care Assistance Program (PCAP).
It offers comprehensive pregnancy care and other health services to pregnant women and teens who live in New York state, regardless of immigration status. Prenatal services include routine pregnancy check ups and lab tests, hospital care during pregnancy and delivery, and other medical care related to pregnancy up to at least 2 months after delivery. PCAP also covers babies for at least one year after birth.
To learn more about the eligibility requirements and find areas where you can enroll for PCAP, go to http://www.nyhealth.gov/nysdoh/pcap/index.htm
In areas of the state where PCAP providers are not located, you could access help through the MOMS program.
MOMS stand for Medicaid Obstetrical and Maternal Services (MOMS) Program and offers routine pregnancy check ups, hospital care during pregnancy and delivery, full health care for the woman until at least two months after delivery and full health care coverage for the baby up to one year of age. Click here for more information about MOMS.
Other New York State Health Insurance Programs
If you still can't get any medical coverage, check out the various low cost or even free New York State Health Insurance programs.
Medicaid is a public health insurance program for those with very limited income and assets. In order to determine income eligibility, Medicaid adds all your sources of income and then subtracts certain deductions.
Medicaid’s coverage is comprehensive and includes prevention, primary care, hospitalization, prescriptions, and other services. There are no premiums. Website: www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/medicaid/mainmedicaid.htm
Family Health Plus
If your income falls below a certain level and you are between the ages of 19-64, you may be eligible for the Family Health Plus program. Family Health Plus is free and you do not need to be employed to qualify.
Family Health Plus provides comprehensive health coverage, including hospital stays, physician visits and prescription drugs. For more information about Family Health Plus go to www.health.state.ny.us, or call 1-877-934-7587 or call your local department of social services or department of health.
Child Health Plus
Every child in New York who is under age 19 who does not have New York State health insurance is eligible for the Child Health Plus program. Child Health Plus offers comprehensive health coverage, including physician visits, hospital stays, outpatient care and prescription drugs.
No copayments apply. Coverage may be free for certain income eligible families and others will pay a minimal premium for coverage. Some families may have to pay a full premium. For more information on Child Health Plus, go to www.health.state.ny.us or call 1-800-698-4543 or your local department of social services or department of health. You can also visit http://www.nyhealth.gov/nysdoh/chplus/what_benefits_can_you_get.htm
Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage is a state program that reduces the cost of medications for low and moderate income seniors age 65 and older.Website: www.health.state.ny.us/health_care/epic/index.htm
HHC Options is a financial assistance program for New York City residents who receive care at public hospitals and participating facilities. It is not insurance. Fees arebased on a sliding scale. Eligibility depends on income, family size, and assets.Website: www.nyc.gov/html/hhc/html/community/hhc_options.shtml