Who Are the One Million New Yorkers Still Without Healthcare?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

by Michael Hamill Remaley, Senior Vice President, Public Policy & Communications, Philanthropy New York

When the deadline for insurance coverage through our state's healthcare exchange came on March 31, New York was roundly lauded as a major success story in the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Compared to other states, New York had much higher enrollment rates and much smoother running systems. The strategic decisions made by the leaders of New York State of Health - the catchy name of our health exchange - and their partnerships with highly motivated nonprofit partners working to sign up the uninsured are highly worthy of praise.

Nonetheless, there are still more than a million New Yorkers who remain without health insurance. And those who are still uninsured are highly represented among the populations foundations are often most concerned about - the poor, immigrants, minorities.

What is New York State of Health doing between now and the next sign-up period starting November 15 to help the uninsured understand their options and move them into coverage? How is the nonprofit community engaged in the effort and what can funders do to support their efforts?

On Wednesday, July 16, Philanthropy New York members can hear directly from leaders of New York State of Health, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and from key nonprofit partners in the program "Healthcare Reform Update: Are Your Populations Getting Covered?"

The panelists for the program include:

Danielle Hollahan, Deputy Director of New York State of Health

Tanya Shah, Assistant Commissioner, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Elisabeth Benjamin, Vice President, Health Initiatives, Community Service Society

Amy Shefrin, (moderator), Program Officer, New York State Health Foundation

New York State officials  today released their demographic report on the first wave of enrollment. The data, which represent the first-year open enrollment period, show that more than 80 percent of enrollees reported being uninsured at the time of application, enrollment occurred in every county in the state and across all health plans, and across a mix of age groups. From October 1, 2013 and through April 15, 2014, 960,762 New Yorkers enrolled into a health plan through NY State of Health. The July 16 program will provide an opportunity for funders to dig into the data and ask questions about the implications for the populations they care about most. 

Many have already RSVPd for this program and we are very happy to see that those planning to attend cover a wide range of programmatic interests.  This is a topic that is deeply important to a wide range of funders.

We hope to see you on July 16.