Low-cost and free health insurance in New York, USA

Kariuki Maina
By Kariuki Maina 6 Min Read

Medical treatment, whether anticipated or unplanned, is aided financially by health insurance. All residents of New York have access to health insurance alternatives, regardless of citizenship. You can get assistance from counselors while selecting a health insurance strategy.

Public health insurance plans are free or low-cost. Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and the Essential Plan are some of them. These plans accept enrollment throughout the entire year.

  • If you already have coverage until February 28, 2022, it will be extended for an additional 12 months.
  • Your eligibility for a public plan will be verified when you apply.
  • Children, pregnant women with low incomes, and adults under 65 should enroll via NY State of Health.
  • If any of the following apply to you, sign up for Medicaid through the NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA):
    1.   65 years or older
    2. someone living with a handicap or blindness, regardless of age
    3. getting Medicare but without being a parent or a caregiver for a small kid
    4. young people who were in foster care before age 26

Private health insurance plans. Plans with private health insurance need a monthly payment in exchange for coverage. Also known as qualified health plans.

  • Through January 31, 2022, New Yorkers can enroll in or make changes to their private health insurance coverage. Sign up with NY State of Health.
  • When you sign up with NY State of Health, you could be able to get financial assistance.
  • Additionally, you can get private insurance straight from an insurance provider. However, financial assistance will not be available to you.

Who is eligible

Depending on your age and income, you might be able to get public health insurance for free or at a low cost.

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  • View the Medicaid, Child Health Plus, or Essential Plan requirements for qualifying.
  • Through the Medicaid Excess Income Program, you may still be eligible for Medicaid if your income is too high
  • For all New Yorkers who want assistance understanding and enrolling in health insurance, enrollment services and application counselors are also accessible.

If you do not qualify for public health insurance or cannot afford to buy a plan:

A healthcare program called NYC Treatment at NYC Health + Hospitals offers free and discounted medical care. It is accessible to New Yorkers without health insurance or who cannot afford it.

To sign up for NYC Care, dial 646-NYC-CARE (646-692-2273).
Find patient care locations for NYC Health + Hospitals in your neighborhood by visiting the NYC Care website.

What you need to apply

You’ll need the following to sign up for public health insurance plans:

  1. documentation proving your legal immigration status and citizenship
  2. Personal Identification Numbers (SSN)
  3. Dates of birth for all applicants in the family
  4. data about current employment
  5. household earnings

How to apply

Sign up with NY State of Health

Children, pregnant women with low incomes, and adults under 65 should sign up for health insurance via NY State of Health.

Visit NY State of Health to enroll online.
Participate in a health insurance enrollment process in person.
Dial 855-355-5777 or 800-662-1220 for TTY.

Sign up using HRA

Through HRA, the following demographic groups can apply for Medicaid and other programs:

65 or more

getting Medicare but without being a parent or caregiver for a small kid

having a disability or being blind

young people who were in foster care before age 26

To sign up:

Get in touch with a Facilitated Enroller.

Dial 888-692-6116 to reach the HRA Helpline.

Mail an application for Medicaid

If you fall under one of these categories, send a mail-in Medicaid application.

65 years of age or more

genuinely blind

declared handicapped

institutionalized and requesting nursing home care coverage.

Complete the application and the Supplement A form. Mail your application to:

MAP Initial Eligibility Unit
PO Box 24390,
Brooklyn, NY 11202

How to get help

Learn more about health insurance options

Through HRA’s Citywide Health Insurance Access, find out more about your options.

Get assistance with enrolling.

New Yorkers may enroll in health insurance with the aid of GetCoveredNYC. You may get free help from committed experts in your language.

Ask a counselor to call you

To get a call from an enrollment counselor, fill out the Health Insurance Enrollment Assistance Inquiry Form. Regardless of immigration status, free enrollment help is offered in a variety of languages. Your personal data will be kept secure.

Call 311

for basic inquiries about health insurance and to locate a local helper.

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By Kariuki Maina Kariuki Maina
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5 months ago

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