New York, NY – New Census data shows that New York was one of only three states that increased the number of people with health insurance last year. The Community Service Society believes that health insurance is vital for protecting low-income New Yorkers and we laud the State for its success in increasing access to coverage. This is a remarkable achievement for a year in which the federal government took every chance to attack the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – it would not have happened without the State’s strong defense of the ACA’s programs here in New York. The federal government’s actions were responsible for increasing the number of uninsured people in 14 states and for halting progress in the rest.
Together, New York’s regulators, providers, payers, and consumers have worked hard to ensure that health insurance in New York covers essential services and that New Yorkers can shop for plans without fear of discrimination because of gender identity or pre-existing conditions. Regardless of what happens at the federal level or in other states, New Yorkers have access to a fair health insurance marketplace.
Another factor behind New York’s success was its continued support for consumer assistance programs which help people learn about their options and enroll in coverage. Elisabeth Benjamin, Vice President of Health Initiatives at CSS, said “New York State of Health provides a smooth enrollment process that helps people at all income levels find plans that work for them. New Yorkers who want help have access to free, independent help in understanding health insurance, what they’re eligible for, and how to enroll. That was vital in a year in which attacks on the ACA spread confusion and fear.”