Press Release: NY State of Health and New York State Department of Financial Services Announce Special Enrollment Period for Uninsured New Yorkers, as Novel Coronavirus Cases Climb

Remind New Yorkers That There is No Cost Sharing for COVID-19 Testing Across Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Essential Plan, and Qualified Health Plans


ALBANY, N.Y. (March 16, 2020) - NY State of Health, together with the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), today announced that New Yorkers will make a Special Enrollment Period available to New Yorkers during which eligible individuals will be able to enroll in insurance coverage through NY State of Health, New York’s official health plan Marketplace, and directly through insurers. This step is being taken in light of the COVID-19 public health emergency to further protect the public health of New Yorkers.  NY State of Health, DFS, and New York State health insurers are taking this action due to the exceptional nature of the public health emergency posed by the COVID-19 so that individuals do not avoid seeking testing or medical care for fear of cost. The open enrollment period for coverage in 2020 had previously ended on February 7, 2020.


Individuals who enroll in Qualified Health Plans through NY State of Health or directly through insurers between March 16 and April 15, 2020 will have coverage effective starting April 1, 2020.  Individuals who are eligible for other NY State of Health programs – Medicaid, Essential Plan and Child Health Plus – can enroll year-round.  As always, consumers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health on-line at, by phone at 855-355-5777, and working with enrollment assistors


As directed by Governor Cuomo, all New York insurers will have waived cost-sharing for a COVID-19 testing,


“With a pandemic spreading through the U.S., it’s important to ensure that healthcare is available to everyone who needs it,” said NY State of Health Executive Director, Donna Frescatore. “This special enrollment period will provide New Yorkers with another opportunity to sign up for high-quality, affordable health insurance.”


“Ensuring access to affordable and quality medical care for all New Yorkers is a top priority during this state of emergency,” said Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we have established a special enrollment period, providing uninsured New Yorkers an opportunity to select a New York State health insurance provider to access diagnostic testing and care they may need.”


For additional information on COVID-19:


·         The Department of Health provides public health information and guidance here:, and has implemented a Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.



·         The Centers for Disease Control’s website offers up to date information at:

·         Governor Cuomo has issued a directive regarding access and cost sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment available at:

·         The Department of Financial Services has issued a circular letter on COVID-19 for health insurers here:




Contact: NY State Department of Health

518-474-7354 ext. 1

About NY State of Health

New York opened its health plan Marketplace, NY State of Health in October 2013. The Marketplace’s one stop health insurance shopping experience offers high quality comprehensive health plans. NY State of Health is the only place where consumers can qualify to get help paying for coverage through premium discounts or tax credits. Eligible New Yorkers can also enroll in Medicaid, Child Health Plus and the Essential Plan through the Marketplace all year.  For more information about the NY State of Health Marketplace, please visit:  or call Customer Service at 1-855-355-5777, TTY: 1-800-662-1220 or find an enrollment assistor.


About the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS)


The Department of Financial Services supervises and regulates the activities of approximately 1,500 banking and other financial institutions with assets totaling more than $2.6 trillion and more than 1,400 insurance companies with assets of more than $4.7 trillion. They include more than 130 life insurance companies, 1,300 property/casualty insurance companies, about 100 health insurers and managed care organizations, and 300,000 individual insurance licensees, 122 state-chartered banks, 80 foreign branches, 10 foreign agencies, 14 credit unions, 13 credit rating agencies, nearly 400 licensed financial services companies, and more than 9,600 mortgage loan originators and servicers. For more information visit:


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