NYers : Hundreds of thousands more New Yorkers lack health insurance than before the coronavirus pandemic began last year – particularly those of color. AARP New York is encouraging them to enroll in a quality, low-cost health plan now through NY State of Health- the State’s official health plan Marketplace.
NYers : New Yorkers are now eligible for more financial help to lower monthly health insurance premium costs, thanks to the federal American Rescue Plan signed into law in March 2021. This new financial help is available through NY State of Health to current and new enrollees who qualify, and starting in June to higher-income individuals for the first time.
Uninsured New Yorkers ages 50 to 64 were particularly hard-hit by skyrocketing health insurance premiums during the pandemic.
“This is a great opportunity for New Yorkers to get additional financial help, and AARP New York encourages all who need it to take advantage of these federal benefits,” said AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel.
As we continue fighting for older adults to have access to affordable health care, AARP New York is offering additional resources and information about enrollment and new subsidies at www.aarp.org/acany. To read more about how NY State of Health enrollees can benefit from the American Rescue Plan, please go to https://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/americanrescueplan
To allow as many consumers as possible to access these enhanced tax credits, and in light of the ongoing public health emergency, the 2021 Open Enrollment Period has been extended through December 31, 2021. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov, by phone at 1-855-355-5777 and by connecting with a free enrollment assistor.
Nearly 29 million Americans did not have insurance prior to the pandemic, and that number increased significantly over the past year as millions more lost their jobs and employer-based care or left the workforce to care for their families. To date, more than 5.8 million New Yorkers have enrolled in a health plan through NY State of Health.
Finding health insurance is particularly challenging for adults ages 50-64, who often face higher premiums that make it unaffordable. Adults in this age range who purchase coverage on their own pay up to three times more than other age groups.
As many as 362,000 New Yorkers ages 50 to 64 could potentially be helped by the extended Open Enrollment Period and expanded premium tax credits, including:
- 208,780 (5.4% of) older adults who are uninsured and could be eligible for coverage through NY State of Health;
- 153,196 (4.2% of) older adults who are already enrolled in the non-group (individual) health insurance market and may qualify for new or bigger tax credits that will help lower their premiums. Many people could now pay $0 in premiums, while others could save up to thousands of dollars a year on their premiums.
“While the Affordable Care Act has greatly reduced the number of older adults who are uninsured, coverage has remained unaffordable for far too many people aged 50-64, particularly those who are Hispanic/Latino and Native Americans,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer. “We want to make sure that the millions of currently uninsured older adults know that new subsidies are available to them.”
The extended Open Enrollment Period with expanded premium tax credit subsidies is an important opportunity to help reduce racial and ethnic coverage disparities.
While the ACA significantly reduced uninsured rates for all adults ages 50 to 64, significant disparities remained in New York by race and ethnicity pre-pandemic:
- 3.4% of Whites;
- 10.5% of Hispanic/Latinos – more than triple the rate of Whites;
- 8.9% of Asian Americans, more than double the rate of Whites;
- 5.8% of African American/Blacks;
- 7.7% of American Indian/Alaska Natives.
And those 2019 numbers have likely increased due to pandemic-related job losses.
AARP’s Public Policy Institute found that nearly half of American adults ages 50-64 who buy their own health insurance faced unaffordable health coverage in 2019, compared to only 30% of younger adults. For example, a 64-year-old earning $49,000 a year would have faced a premium of 30% of their income—a price tag that would put health insurance out of reach for many.
No American should be cut off from the opportunity to live a healthy life. AARP New York encourages all New Yorkers who are uninsured or struggling to afford health insurance about how to get more affordable health insurance.
People who already receive financial assistance are likely eligible for even more help. For those who were not eligible for financial assistance through the Marketplace before, check again – you may be eligible now. In addition, anyone receiving unemployment insurance in 2021 will not have to pay premiums for Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace plans.
Together, we can further help reduce disparities and address the problems of health care costs.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin.