100,000 Individuals Enroll During Final Weeks
ALBANY, N.Y. (February 18, 2015)—New York State of Health, the state’s official health plan Marketplace, today announced that more than 2.1 million people signed up for health insurance by the end of the second open enrollment period, which began on November 15, 2014 and ended on February 15, 2015. Eighty-eight percent of Marketplace enrollees reported that they were uninsured at the time they enrolled. New Yorkers who have enrolled in coverage through the Marketplace have overwhelmingly reported that they are satisfied with their health insurance (92 percent) and are using their coverage to access care (84 percent).
“NY State of Health’s second enrollment period ended strong with 2.1 million New Yorkers covered through the Marketplace, including nearly 408,000 individuals enrolled in a Qualified Health Plan,” said NYSOH Executive Director Donna Frescatore. “We are pleased with the results of the second open enrollment period and we appreciate the efforts of our staff and the many partner organizations who worked tirelessly over the past three months to educate and enroll additional New Yorkers in coverage through the Marketplace.”
Initial projections forecasted that NYSOH would enroll 615,000 individuals in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) at the end of its third year of operation on December 31, 2016. Today’s announcement that QHP enrollment has reached more than 408,000 meets that expectation for enrollment through the end of the second year.
Similar to the first open enrollment period, enrollment activity increased in the final days leading up to the February 15 deadline. Qualified Health Plan enrollment increased by more than 9,200 on February 15, making it the highest day-to-day increase during the 2015 open enrollment period. Website traffic on February 15 was steady throughout the day at about 2,100 simultaneous users. The number of calls answered by the NYSOH customer service center peaked at more than 26,000 calls per day in the final days.
On February 13, NYSOH announced that individuals who had started their application before the February 15 deadline, but were unable to finish, will have until 11:59 p.m. February 28 to complete their applications and select a health plan for 2015. Individuals who did not enroll in a QHP during the open enrollment period will not be able to enroll during the remainder of 2015 unless they have a qualifying life event that makes them eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Qualifying life events include getting married, gaining a dependent, aging off of a parent’s insurance, or losing coverage through a divorce or loss of a job. Those who did not sign up during open enrollment and do not qualify for a SEP will have to wait until the next open enrollment period begins to enroll in coverage starting January 1, 2016. Additionally, they may be subject to a 2015 federal income tax penalty.
New tools that were developed for the second open enrollment period to make it easier for customers to understand their health insurance options contributed to the success of the second open enrollment period. The NYSOH’s website plan preview, or anonymous shopping tool, which allows individuals to shop for a health plan before starting an application, was used nearly 2.4 million times. A “Sign Up NY” tour began during the first weekend in January at 13 shopping malls across the state and continued through the end of the open enrollment period as a convenient way for consumers to learn about Marketplace coverage and connect with an in-person assistor.
To help educate consumers, NYSOH has created a series of brief informational videos, in English and Spanish languages, some targeted toward millennials, with the latest explaining the value of having health insurance coverage. Video titles include: “Time for your grown children to get health insurance,” “Health insurance – It’s what adults do,” “Insure yourself to ensure your health,” and “Health insurance – Your ultimate safety net.” An informational video explaining the Special Enrollment Period and qualifying life events will be released shortly. NYSOH’s video library can be found at http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/resources.
The breakdown of enrollees as of the February 15, 2015 end of open enrollment is as follows:
- Total cumulative enrollment: 2,109,634
- Total Medicaid enrollment: 1,545,319
- Total private coverage: 564,315 (407,488 Qualified Health Plan and 156,827 CHP)
- Total new 2015 enrollment: 552,993
- Total new 2015 Medicaid enrollment: 373,518
- Total new private coverage: 179,475 (137,410 in Qualified Health Plan and 42,065 in CHP)
- Renewal rate in QHP coverage: 87%
** NY State of Health Executive Director, Donna Frescatore will participate in Families USA Teleconference today. Media is invited to join
WHAT: State Exchange Officials Offer Review and Analysis of the Second Health Coverage Enrollment Period
WHEN: 12 p.m. EST, 11 a.m. CST, 10 a.m. MST, 9 a.m. PST Wednesday, February 18, 2015
HOW: Dial in toll-free: 800-768-6490 Confirmation code: 2192225
About the NY State of Health Marketplace
New York opened its Health Plan marketplace, NY State of Health, on October 2013. The Marketplace’s one stop health insurance shopping experience offers high quality comprehensive plans for consumers to choose from. NY State of Health is the only place where consumers can qualify to get help paying for coverage through premium discounts or tax credits. The NY State of Health Small Business Marketplace for employers with 50 or fewer employees is open to enrollment throughout the year. New Yorkers can also enroll in Medicaid and Child Health Plus through the Marketplace all year. For more information about the NY State of Health marketplace, please visit https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov or call Customer Service at 1-855-355-5777.
Contact: New York State Department of Health
518 474 7354, ext. 1