September 2, 2020
NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio today launched NYC Care in Manhattan and Queens ahead of schedule, delivering on the Administration’s promise of guaranteed health care access for all New Yorkers citywide, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. Since its launch in August 2019 in the Bronx, and expansion to Brooklyn and Staten Island in January 2020, nearly 30,000 New Yorkers have enrolled and obtained access to high-quality health care across the city.
“Our mission to bring affordable, quality healthcare to every New Yorker has never felt more urgent,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With NYC Care now available citywide, we are delivering on this promise and setting a nationwide model of what it means to provide low-cost, affordable health care.”
“Through the support of the Mayor and our community partners, we are excited to reach the city-wide expansion of NYC Care ahead of schedule, making it easier for New Yorkers who need us most to connect to the quality health care we deliver with excellence, cultural competence, and compassion” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “After all, good health care starts with good primary care, especially during a pandemic and during the post-COVID recovery period. With our determination, NYC Care will continue to bridge health disparities to make New Yorkers healthier as our communities continue to face the challenges of this pandemic and beyond.”
To expand NYC Care membership in neighborhoods most affected by COVID-19, the City will collaborate with 19 community-based organizations (CBOs) to enroll uninsured New Yorkers in the program. Outreach will be conducted in key languages, such as Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Benagli and Urdu. Selected through a request for proposal process in July, the CBOs will conduct outreach with a focus on Jackson Heights, North Corona, Flushing, Murray Hill, Whitestone, Elmhurst and South Corona in Queens and Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble, Hamilton Heights, Manhattanville, West Harlem, Chinatown & Lower East Side in Manhattan:
In addition to the new CBOs, CBOS that are currently active in in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island will receive a seven-month extension to their contracts as well.
The City will also spearhead a public awareness campaign in key languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Urdu, Bengali, and French, in key neighborhoods in Manhattan and Queens and near all NYC Health + Hospital facilities, including three subway station and bus shelter ad dominations, neighborhood locations, and LinkNYC terminals. In addition to these platforms, NYC Care will also take advantage of guerrilla marketing, coordinating street marketing teams, storefront and in-store posters in bodegas, laundromats, barbershops, check-cashing locations, and more.
Since its launch in the Bronx, NYC Care has dramatically changed the way the City’s public health system connects people to personalized, coordinated primary, preventive and specialty care. With the expansion of NYC Care to Queens and Manhattan, new NYC Care members will receive a primary care appointment within two weeks. All NYC Care members also receive a membership card, access to language interpretation services, expanded pharmacy hours within the NYC Health + Hospitals system, and a 24/7 customer assistance line where they can ask questions about NYC Care and speak to an on-call clinician for all of their needs, including prescription refills. Those who are eligible and want to enroll in the program should call 646-NYC-CARE.
To date, NYC Care’s nearly 30,000 members have had over 85,000 provider visits since the beginning of the program, with over 17,000 telehealth visits and over 30,000 prescriptions filled during new extended pharmacy hours. Further, nearly 20,000 members have been screened for depression since the program began and have been connected to additional supports and services when appropriate. NYC Health + Hospitals is also hiring 26 new primary care providers and specialists, expanding on existing care teams at Queens and Manhattan NYC Health + Hospitals locations. To date, NYC Health + Hospitals has hired over 20 new providers at facilities in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, and continues to recruit to hire over 60 new medical providers to serve new patients through NYC Care.
Additional information on NYC Care, including brochures and translated material languages, is available here.
“With the expansion of NYC Care citywide, we are making the vision of guaranteed health care a reality for all who call our city home, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay,” said Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “In partnership with a network of community-based organizations that serve their communities in 30 different languages, we are excited we will be able to connect New Yorkers citywide to the care they need when they need it. At a time when the health and well-being of our immigrant communities are under a dual attack from a global pandemic and a xenophobic federal administration, I am proud we live in a city where health care is a right guaranteed to all.”
“Today marks an important milestone for New York City. All New Yorkers, no matter their income, immigration, or insurance status, are now entitled to access comprehensive primary, preventive, and specialty care through NYC Care,” said NYC Care Executive Director Marielle Kress. “No New Yorker should be fearful to access needed health care services, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, and I look forward to our ongoing collaboration with our trusted community-based partners to amplify this essential message.”
“NYC Care helped save my life in more ways than one,” said a Bronx resident and NYC Care member. “After becoming an NYC Care member in November 2019, I was able to get primary and specialty care without fear of the cost or my immigration status. As a kidney transplant recipient, ongoing care for medications is critical. However, I was most fortunate to have been a member of the program when I got COVID-19 in April. Due to the care I received earlier in the health system, I was empowered to go to the hospital when I was sick during the pandemic. It turned out I had COVID-19 and spent 21 days intubated. More people should know about NYC Care and make sure they remain as healthy as possible during the pandemic.
“As Chair of the Committee on Hospitals, I am relieved that NYC Care will finally serve New Yorkers in all five Boroughs. COVID ravaged low-income communities of color because of systemic barriers to insurance and care, and now thousands of previously uninsured or underinsured New Yorkers will have access to life-saving primary and specialty care. NYC Care and its partner network will play an immeasurable role in our city's recovery, and I look forward to a future where more New Yorkers are able to access high quality, affordable care as we keep fighting for universal health coverage,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera.
“NYC Care provides access to primary care and prescription drugs to previously uninsured New Yorkers, helping prevent serious and costly health problems later on," said Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee. There’s a clear need for this vital program, and I commend the de Blasio administration on expanding NYC Care to every borough in New York City.”
“This expansion is welcome news to the thousands of working families who lack quality healthcare in Queens,” said NYC Council Finance Chair Daniel Dromm. “My district was especially hard-hit by COVID-19. While the pandemic affected us all, there is no denying the fact that immigrant families and other underserved communities were disproportionately impacted. I am therefore pleased that NYC Care will deliver quality preventative, primary and specialty health care to my constituents who would otherwise lack this basic necessity. I commend Mayor de Blasio for prioritizing this effort and will continue to work along his administration to overcome public health disparities in our City.”
“I am delighted that Sunset Park will have a facility at Mixteca to provide health care access regardless of immigration status or ability to pay for services. It is critical that our city provide affordable primary, preventive, and specialty health care to those most in need. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous effect on our community and this program will help residents obtain better health care during these critical times,” said Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz.
“As the Bronx continues to battle the COVID crisis, NYC Care is providing Bronxites with access to critical health care services needed to keep our communities safe. While we continue to fight for universal healthcare coverage on the state and national level, I encourage all who do not qualify or cannot afford health insurance based on federal guidelines to utilize this important program,” said State Senator Alessandra Biaggi.
“Access to affordable primary care and prescriptions is critically important during a time when so many are struggling to make ends meet, particularly for communities of color that have been hit hardest by COVID-19,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman. “I welcome the expansion of NYC Care to Manhattan and urge eligible uninsured New Yorkers to take full advantage of the benefits of this important program.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated once again devastating cost of racial and economic disparities in our healthcare system. Ensuring all New Yorkers have access to healthcare is critical to addressing these disparities and I am pleased that New York City is continuing its commitment to this critical program,” said State Senator Liz Krueger.
“In the wake of this unprecedented public health crisis, those on the frontlines were the hardest hit. Now, thanks to the expansion of the NYC Care program, many essential workers, and people living in the hardest hit neighborhoods - like my district of Flatbush, Brooklyn - will get access to the medical care that they need now more than ever,” said Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte. “I thank the Mayor for coming through on his promise to see that all New Yorkers have access to healthcare regardless of their immigration or socioeconomic status.”
“Before the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted our city and state, the NYC Care Program came to Staten Island and Brooklyn. I commend the city and healthcare providers – such has Project Hospitality here on Staten Island – for making accessible and affordable healthcare a rightful mandate for our families and communities,” said Assemblyman Charles D. Fall.
“More than ever, New Yorkers need access to health care, regardless of their circumstances. The city’s expansion of NYC Care activates community groups serving that reach underserved New Yorkers, and couldn’t come at a more crucial moment,” said Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus.
"Healthcare is a human right, and this NYC Care expansion could not have come at a better time," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "Covid-19 has exacerbated the healthcare needs of low-income residents in Manhattan and really hurt hard-hit areas in the outer boroughs. Thank you to the Mayor's office for making good on this promise for our City during a time of need. It will for sure help our City recover from the pandemic."
"With 30 years of experience providing community outreach, linkage to insurance, navigation to care, and health education and promotion, Alliance is proud to be a part of the NYC Care expansion into Queens and Manhattan," said Vice President of Outreach and Linkage to Care at Alliance for Positive Change Fulvia Alvelo. "This program will help immigrant communities to bridge health disparities that have been heightened by the coronavirus pandemic. Alliance shares the commitment to provide services that help all New Yorkers achieve health and self-sufficiency."
“Chinatown Manpower Project (CMP) looks forward to partnering with NYC Health + Hospitals to connect community members with vital primary health care,” said CMP’s Executive Director Hong Shing Lee.
“We are very proud and happy to implement the NYC Care program ahead of schedule for Queens and Manhattan,” said President and CEO of Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York (KCS) Linda Lee. “This program is extremely important for Korean Community Services because it allows us to help everyone access health care, regardless of their immigration status. During this challenging time, the NYC Care program will contribute towards rebuilding New York City and getting New Yorkers healthier.”
“There has never been a more important time to bring awareness of and access to healthcare in communities who have been devastated by COVID-19,” said Executive Director of New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) Manuel Castro. “NICE is committed to continuing our front-line support for our immigrant communities, particularly in central Queens, the early epicenter of pandemic in NYC. This partnership will enable us to improve the lives of immigrant workers and families as they adjust to the economic and social impacts of the pandemic.”
“At this time, when having health insurance is the most important thing, NYC Care will provide much needed access to medical services our communities need, especially to individuals and families who are under-insured and to those who have limited access to healthcare due to their immigration status,” said Executive Director of South Asian Council for Social Services Sudha Acharya.
“Queens Community House’s mission work is to improve lives of Queens families and to build healthy, inclusive communities. We are happy to be part of this city-wide collaborative that is bringing access to affordable primary care services to Queens' underserved populations,” said Executive Director of Queens Community House Ben Thomases. “If it wasn't clear before, surely these times have shown us the importance of healthcare as a right for all and as essential for the wellbeing of all New Yorkers.
“United Sikhs is excited to bring NYC Care, a health care access program that guarantees low-cost and no-cost services to New Yorkers, who do not qualify for or cannot afford health insurance,” said Associate Director of United Sikhs Guneet Kaur. “We are grateful to MOIA and NYC Health + Hospitals for giving us this opportunity. This will help towards our mission of serving the underprivileged in Queens.”
“Voces Latinas is so pleased to be working alongside the Mayor’s Office and NYC Health + Hospitals on the NYC Care initiative. Our community of Western Queens,where many immigrants settle and begin their journey toward their American dream, will benefit greatly by having good and affordable healthcare,” said Voces Latinas Executive Director Nathaly Rubio-Torio. “No one should have to think twice about accessing medical services. Our community works hard and deserves to receive treatment and follow up medical services. NYC Care is making this possible, therefore showing immigrants that NYC cares for their wellbeing.