How to Qualify for Health Insurance in New York State

1.

Choose the type of insurance program for which you qualify. For example, determine whether you're seeking insurance because you lost your job, are divorcing, are changing jobs, need immediate emergency medical attention or are taking a pay cut that doesn't enable you to pay for health insurance on your own.

2.

Start the preapplication process. Visit Community Health Advocates, Enroll NY, the New York State government's Insurance Department or a similar online resource to access a list of not-for-profit New York health insurance agencies. Access an "eligibility calculator" or a similar online questionnaire that measures whether you qualify for the programs you're interested in. Fill out your personal information online.

3.

List the number of people in your New York household in the preapplication form. If you're not married and live alone, you would be considered single. Otherwise, include all individuals in your family who would be covered under your insurance, including those applying for or already receiving Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus or Medicaid. Include any spouse, parents or stepparents who live in the household. Include any other dependents, including children under 21 years old, who would be insured by your plan. However, beginning in October 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, full-time students 26 years old and younger may remain on their parents' insurance policy, at the parents' discretion, regardless of marital status.

4.

Calculate your gross monthly income for your household. If you're single, list just your monthly income. For families, add up all the types of income that anyone in your household receives, including work income, Social Security benefits, contributions or donations that help a person meet living expenses, and any other money sources such as temporary cash assistance, loans or grants.

5.

Pick a provider. After the preapplication process lists providers, choose a health insurance program that works best for you and your family. Affinity Health Plan, Fidelis Care New York, Neighborhood Health Providers and Safe Space NYC are a few examples of possible insurance plans for New York State residents.

6.

Speak with Legal Services NYC, which offers resources and counseling for the uninsured to discuss plans, and Community Health Advocates, a not-for-profit organization that has been at the forefront of public policy innovations that support low-income New Yorkers.

Tips and Warnings

  • Get an additional free health insurance eligibility screening. Make an appointment with an agency like Enroll NY, a state-sponsored health-insurance-provider service, or New York City's Office of Citywide Health Insurance Access (OCHIA).
  • If you determine you're not qualified for a public health insurance program, New York community health advocates or the New York State Health Department can help you find a healthcare insurance solution.
  • Determining a health insurance plan in New York can be tricky. Insurance providers offering coverage plans for individuals and families vary in scope and quality. For example, as of 2010 in New York, according to the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reform Act, if you've lost your job because of a new trade policy or an employer replacing local workers with overseas employees, the state will pay 65 percent of the cost of health insurance for up to a year or longer. As of 2010, New York State also has "guaranteed issue" insurance, meaning all citizens will be accepted at the same premium rate regardless of their current health condition.