Health Insurance: Tips and Programs

To make signing up for health insurance as easy as possible, gather as much of the below information and documents as you can for everyone in your household who is enrolling. Even if you do not have all of this information now, you can still start the process.

Household Information:

  • Social Security numbers
  • Birth dates
  • Current employment and income information,such as pay stubs, tax statements or W-2 forms
  • Insurance cards, if members of your household have health insurance
  • Family health history, including any medications you take and the doctors you see
  • A list of insurance plans accepted by your regular health care provider, if you have one

Immigration Documents
Items that show your legal immigration status in the United States can include:

  • Permanent Resident Card (Green Card/I-551)
  • Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Arrival/Departure Record (I-94 or I-94A)
  • ORR Verification of Release Form (ORR UAC/R-1)
  • Passport
  • US Visa with 1-94 Stamp
  • I-797 USCIS Notice of Action
  • I-549 USCIS Acknowledgment of Receipt (those seeking asylum)

If you have concerns about how health insurance enrollment affects your immigration status, call ActionNYC hotline at 1-800-354-0365 for free, confidential legal assistance.

Also, you can be more prepared by learning about health insurance programs and coverage and commonly used terms. Insurance terms that you should learn include "deductible," "copayment," and "coverage period."

You can get more information and help enrolling by visiting an NYC Department of Health Certified Application Counselor.

Low- and No-Cost Programs Through the NY State of Health Marketplace

You can get more information about any of the below programs, including enrollment help, by visiting an NYC Department of Health Certified Application Counselor.

Medicaid is a health insurance program for individuals, families and children with low income and limited resources. You may be eligible for Medicaid if you:

  • Have high medical bills
  • Meet certain financial requirements
  • Receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Enrollment in Medicaid is available year-round.

Child Health Plus provides insurance for children ages under 19 years of age who do not qualify for Medicaid and do not have other health insurance coverage. It is available regardless of immigration status. Coverage may be free or low-cost, depending on household size and income.

Enrollment in Child Health Plus is available year-round.

The Essential Plan is a health insurance program for individuals with low income who are not eligible for Medicaid or Child Health Plus. You may be eligible for the Essential Plan for as little as $0 or $20 per month, depending on your family income.

Enrollment in the Essential Plan is available year-round.

Qualified Health Plans are private health insurance plans that are available on the NY State of Health Marketplace for individuals with middle or low income who are not eligible for Medicaid. You may be eligible for financial assistance to help pay for one of these plans.

Enrollment for these plans is only available during the annual open enrollment period or during a special enrollment period (November 1 – January 31) or during a special enrollment period (February 1-October 31). You may be eligible for a special enrollment period if you recently had a change in your family, income or health insurance coverage.


Additional Resources

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