UHF Guide Details NYS Health Insurance Coverage Options During Pandemic

More options available to New Yorkers than ever before due to Affordable Care Act

NEW YORK, NEW YORK April 6, 2020— With the grim toll of coronavirus infections and deaths increasing daily, and tens of thousands of layoffs also eliminating job-based coverage and exacerbating affordability problems, United Hospital Fund (UHF) today released a consumer guide with practical advice on how to replace lost health coverage or find a new health plan during these perilous times. 

The guide, Grim Times and Health Insurance: Maintaining Coverage During the Pandemic, walks through the different options consumers have to maintain employer-based coverage or find new coverage on the NY State of Health Marketplace, which now has a coronavirus special enrollment period, extended until May 15, 2020. The guide also provides details about how state and federal consumer protection laws work, the enrollment process, and important resources. Highlighted are the changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act, which dramatically increased the number of affordable options available to consumers losing or seeking coverage, and the ease of enrollment, compared to the disruptive Great Recession of 2008-2010.

“Ten years ago when people lost job-based coverage, it was COBRA—the federal and state laws that allow most employees or dependents to continue expensive employer-sponsored coverage at their own expense—or nothing,” said Peter Newell, director of UHF’s Health Insurance Project and author of the guide. “Those options still exist, but now consumers have many more affordable coverage options, and it’s much easier to enroll in coverage than ever before. New York’s Medicaid program—which no longer considers assets like homes or savings accounts— the Essential Plan, and Qualified Health Plans, with affordability subsidies through the Marketplace, are all options to consider.”

The guide poses and answers some of the most common questions consumers facing coverage-loss are likely to ask. It concludes with links to resources where consumers can get more information and help assessing coverage options. 

The guide, produced with support from New York Community Trust, is available free of charge on UHF’s website here.

About United Hospital Fund
United Hospital Fund works to build a more effective health care system for every New Yorker. An independent, nonprofit organization, we analyze public policy to inform decision-makers, find common ground among diverse stakeholders, and develop and support innovative programs that improve the quality, accessibility, affordability, and experience of patient care. For more on our initiatives and programs please visit our website at www.uhfnyc.org and follow us on Twitter. 


April 6, 2020
Focus Area
Coverage and Access
Health Insurance Project