Affordable Care Act
In March 2010, the 111th Congress passed health reform legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCERA; P.L. 111-152) and other laws. ACA increases access to affordable health insurance coverage, expands federal private health insurance market requirements, and requires the creation of health insurance exchanges to provide individuals and small employers with access to insurance. It also expands Medicaid coverage; New York State was one of the states that chose to expand Medicaid coverage.
Implementation of ACA, which began upon the law's enactment, passed an exciting milestone on October 1, 2013 when health insurance exchanges opened for enrollment. The open enrollment period is now closed for 2014 insurance converage. The next enrollment period does not begin until November 15th, 2014, and will end on February 15th, 2015. Please note that only individuals and families who are eligible for a special enrollment period qualifying event will be able to enroll in coverage through the exchanges until the next enrollment period begins. Special enrollment period qualifying events include but are not limited to: getting married or divorced, gaining or losing a dependent, losing employer insurance, or permanently moving into New York State. For further information regarding the enrollment deadline and special enrollment qualifying events, please contact the NYS Health Exchange.
Under the Affordable Care Act, states were given the choice of allowing their citizens to use the federal exchange or to create their own individual exchanges. New York State (NYS) chose to create its own individual state exchange. Therefore, the state is responsible for both the set-up and running of the NYS Health Exchange. By creating its own state exchange, NYS automatically opted out of the federal exchange. New York residents are therefore prohibited from using the federal exchange to purchase health insurance. All New York residents must use the NYS Health Exchange to purchase their health insurance, if they are eligible to use the exchange.
New Yorkers that are shopping for insurance on the NYS Health Exchange are able to access the exchange and learn more about the benefits it provides by contacting the exchange directly. Below is the relevant information to access the exchange:
Official New York State Exchange:
New York State of Health: www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov
Customer Service Center Hours: M –F 8:00 am – 8:00 pm; Sat 9:00am – 1:00pm; Sun - CLOSED
Official New York State Exchange Translation Services Call Center:
In addition to English and Spanish, the call center provides assistance in more than 150 languages through and interpretation and translation service.
Phone: 1-800-318-2596 or 1-855-355-5777
Additionally, various organizations have been selected to act as "in person Navigators." Navigators are specially trained and certified helpers/counselors, who can assist individuals in the health insurance enrollment process. Navigators are located in various communities for easy constituent access.
The document below lists the Navigator organizations by county in New York State. Please note that interested parties should contact the appropriate Navigator in advance as specific hours of operation are subject to change.
Navigator Enrollment Site Directory