Why Getting Health Insurance Matters.

Ben’s Story: Composed and Covered

Ben is a composer who currently works at an Off-Broadway show. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Ben was allowed to stay on his parents’ insurance until he turned 26 this past July. Ben did a lot of research on his own to see what his insurance options were, but he still had a lot of questions. Then a friend referred him to free assistance at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, where a counselor was able to answer all his questions and help him choose a plan. Now, Ben has coverage that’s helping to pay for his medications, and he plans to keep going to Callen-Lorde for primary care.

Jerome’s Story: Coverage for the Future

Between his part-time job at a retail pharmacy and his job as an after-school teacher, Jerome works every day of the week. Uninsured for years, he couldn’t afford to miss a day of work if he got sick or wanted to go to the doctor, even when it was necessary. With help from the Center for Frontline Retail, Jerome found out he was newly eligible for Medicaid under health reform in New York. Jerome is now covered so he can see a doctor when he needs to, stay healthy, and work toward becoming a full-time teacher.

Luis & Carmen’s Story: Covered for Their Health

Luis worked at The Plaza Hotel for 40 years; then he had a heart attack and had to leave his job to go on disability. When Luis’ employer-based coverage ended in September, he didn’t know how he would afford health care for himself and his wife, Carmen. He went to the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island for help with finding a new plan. Now, his new health insurance will allow Luis to get care for all his health conditions, including his neuropathy, diabetes, and heart problems.

Read more stories about New Yorkers who got health coverage with the help of the Enrollment Network.

About this Initiative

In the second year of open enrollment under the ACA, there is still a high need for direct assistance and face-to-face support to help individuals enroll in health insurance. To engage uninsured New Yorkers and help them enroll in coverage, the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) is funding community-based organizations that serve as trusted messengers to their communities for outreach and enrollment activities. An October 2014 poll by NYHealth found that 92% of New Yorkers who became newly insured under health reform are completely or somewhat satisfied with their health insurance, but some respondents report encountering barriers to care and using their insurance. Learn more about NYHealth’s range of outreach and enrollment efforts, including the Enrollment Network, which has helped Jerome, Ben, Luis, and thousands of other uninsured New Yorkers across the State enroll in health insurance.

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