Press Release: NY State of Health Announces Enrollment Surges, More than 5.8 Million New Yorkers Enrolled in Health Coverage

Nearly One in Three New Yorkers Enrolled Through NY State of Health


High-Quality Health Insurance More Important Than Ever as Pandemic and Vaccine Response Continues


ALBANY, N.Y. (March 9, 2021)—NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan Marketplace today announced, across all Marketplace programs, enrollment increased by nearly 885,000 people from the end of the 2020 Open Enrollment Period in February 2020 to the end of February 2021. There are now a record 5.8 million people enrolled in coverage through NY State of Health – nearly one in three New Yorkers.  


“While it could not have been envisioned at the time, because of New York’s unwavering commitment to its implementation of NY State of Health, expanding Medicaid, and adopting the Essential Plan for lower-income New Yorkers, the Marketplace has served as a safety net for consumers during this public health emergency,” said NY State of Health Executive Director, Donna Frescatore. “Without easy, real-time access to these programs, many would not have had access to affordable health care throughout the past year, as the state responded to the global COVID-19 pandemic.”


Enrollment increases over the past year were concentrated in Medicaid and the Essential Plan in line with expectations, as individuals lost their jobs and/or saw sharp declines in their incomes during the pandemic. As household income changed, NY State of Health allowed for smooth transitions from Qualified Health Plan and Child Health Plus enrollment to Medicaid and Essential Plan, often in the same health plan. Marketplace enrollees in 2021 include both individuals who are new to the Marketplace and were previously uninsured or had other coverage, and individuals who moved between NY State of Health programs due to a change in circumstances, such as loss of income. 


NY State of Health Enrollment, as of February 28, 2021:



Child Health Plus


Qualified Health Plans


Essential Plan




*Total Medicaid enrollment on and off NY State of Health is 6,815,777 as of December 2020.

As previously announced, New York’s 2021 Open Enrollment Period has been extended to May 15, 2021 in alignment with the ongoing federal public health emergency.  Ensuring access to affordable health coverage and care is more important than ever, so that individuals do not avoid seeking testing or medical care for fear of cost. Most marketplace enrollees qualify for financial assistance to lower the cost of their coverage. This deadline extension allows individuals eligible for Qualified Health Plan insurance additional time to enroll for 2021 coverage. Enrollment remains open for all NY State of Health programs.  

Coverage start dates will vary:

  • Enroll by March 15: Coverage starts April 1
  • Enroll by April 15: Coverage starts May 1
  • Enroll by May 15: Coverage starts June 1

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 online at, by phone at 1-855-355-5777, or by connecting with a free enrollment assistor

Additional information on NY State of Health insurance options during the Coronavirus emergency can be found here




Contact: New York State Department of Health

518-474-2043 x. 2




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.


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