Expanding Health Care Coverage


Community Service Society

Funding Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage


January 29, 2016


This report by the Community Service Society of New York presents three different options for New York State to extend coverage to uninsured and unauthorized immigrants.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helped millions of New Yorkers secure affordable, quality health care, many for the first time. However, as many as 457,000 unauthorized, uninsured immigrant New Yorkers remain ineligible for coverage. Without coverage, many will continue to turn to emergency rooms and public hospitals. However, the ACA imposes significant cutbacks in compensating charity care, leaving a greater burden on providers. It is important—both for the uninsured and for a well-functioning health care system—to address the insurance needs of the immigrants left behind.

This report outlines three options that the State could adopt to get immigrants covered, along with a policy and financial analysis for each. The three options investigated are:

  • A comprehensive “Essential Plan” for undocumented adults with incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level;
  • A “Young Adult” plan for undocumented immigrants ages 19–29 that builds on the Child Health Plus program; and
  • A high-deductible “Bronze Plan” for undocumented adults already eligible for Emergency Medicaid.

Supported with co-funding from NYHealth, The New York Community Trust, the Altman Foundation, and the United Hospital Fund, this report offers policymakers a practical, actionable path to close the coverage gap and continue New York’s leadership in providing a welcome home for new Americans.