New America Media, Video, Text: Khalil Abdullah / Video: Josue Rojas
NEW YORK — October 1 is D-day for New Yorkers to start shopping for affordable health care coverage on the New York Health Benefits Exchange. Some 2.9 million residents are uninsured (out of a population of 19.2 million), and experts and advocates are ramping up to make New York the benchmark state for maximizing health care access for the uninsured, the underinsured, children and even undocumented immigrants.
“We are doing something that very few other states are doing,” Elisabeth Benjamin, vice president of health initiatives at the Community Service Society of New York, told a group of reporters–most from ethnic news organizations–at a roundtable briefing convened by New America Media. “Our exchange truly will be one-stop shopping allowing apples-to-apples comparisons of the variety of health insurance plans available.”
Unlike other states whose exchanges may refer certain applicants to other agencies, New York’s exchange will offer consumers the full menu of available options, from qualified commercial health plans to public assistance programs like CHP (Child Health Plus) and Medicaid. “You go into the New York Exchange and it’s extraordinary,” Benjamim added. “You will come out with coverage, maybe even emergency Medicaid if you’re undocumented.”
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