Press Release: NY State of Health Promotes Affordable Health Insurance at Juneteenth Events Across the State

Marketplace Assistors Provide In-Person Enrollment Guidance and Educate Consumers on Health Plan Options

More New Yorkers Now Qualify for Low-Cost Health Insurance Through Expanded Essential Plan

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 18, 2024) - NY State of Health Marketplace representatives will be on hand at many events across the state before and during the Juneteenth holiday to answer questions regarding enrolling or reenrolling in the Marketplace. These events will reach segments of New York’s Black community, particularly uninsured populations, with assistors present to share health program information, answer questions about enrollment, and help eligible consumers access financial assistance.

“Ensuring that all New Yorkers have access to quality, affordable health insurance and health care is an important step in advancing health equity,” State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. “I thank NY State of Health for creating opportunities through these Juneteenth events for all New Yorkers to stay informed about their health insurance options and find health insurance plans that are best for them and their families.”

Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the U.S. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas on June 19, 1865, after enslaved people in Texas learned of their freedom, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect.

Significant inequalities remain in public health today. Systemic racism has played a role in inequitable health outcomes and lack of quality care that has impacted Black people and other communities of color. Preventable conditions such as heart disease and diabetes continue to impact these communities disproportionally.

Over the past few years, NY State of Health, New York’s official health plan marketplace, has worked to better understand and address existing health inequities in New York. This has included expanded eligibility for the Essential Plan to increase access to health care services and improve health outcomes for all New Yorkers, improved data collection to better understand and address existing inequities in health outcomes, as well as new incentives to promote Social Determinants of Health and Behavioral Health screening and interventions.

The NY State of Health and State Health Department continue to work on improving access to quality care for all New Yorkers and eliminating health disparities.

“NY State of Health is dedicated to advancing health equity by making affordable coverage accessible to all New Yorkers, regardless of race or ethnicity,” NY State of Health Executive Director Danielle Holahan said. “Recent program changes have expanded access to quality, affordable health insurance. Assistors will educate consumers on these changes and provide in-person help to enroll in coverage.”

As of April 1, 2024, updated eligibility rules now allow more New Yorkers to qualify for low-cost health insurance through the Essential Plan. The Essential Plan has $0 monthly premiums, no deductible, and very low cost-sharing.  The Essential Plan offers a comprehensive benefit package that includes office visits, hospital care, screenings, prescription medicine, dental and vision benefits, and more.

Additionally, New York has expanded its Medicaid program to include certain undocumented immigrants. Individuals may be eligible if they are age 65 and older and meet the income and household size requirements.

With the end of the Public Health Emergency Unwind period on May 31, NY State of Health has ended the “Exceptional Circumstances” Special Enrollment Period that had been in place since early 2020, which has allowed New Yorkers to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan through NY State of Health outside of Open Enrollment. 

Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and the Essential Plan will continue to be available for enrollment all year. Enrollees in these public programs will also need to continue renewing their coverage every 12 months. For Qualified Health Plans, however, beginning on June 1, consumers may only enroll if they experience a qualifying life event that allows them a Special Enrollment Period, or during the Marketplace’s annual Open Enrollment Period, which will begin on November 1, 2024 for coverage effective January 1, 2025.

Consumers who enroll in a Qualified Health Plan through a Special Enrollment Period may still have opportunities to receive enhanced subsidies available through 2025 via the Inflation Reduction Act; this increased financial assistance helps to reduce the cost of monthly health insurance premiums. Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and the Essential Plan will continue to be available all year.

For more information or questions about the new expanded Essential Plan, eligibility reviews, and the renewal process, consumers should reach out to the NY State of Health Customer Service Center at 1-855-355-5777 or go to their local Department of Social Services office, or learn more on the NY State of Health website and the Department of Health’s Medicaid website.




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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