New York State of Health Extends December 15 Enrollment Deadline

New Yorkers Now Have Until December 20 to Enroll for Coverage that Begins January 1

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 12, 2014) - The New York State Department of Health today announced an extension of the December 15 deadline for enrolling or renewing health insurance coverage through the NY State of Health (NYSOH) Marketplace. The deadline to apply for or renew coverage that takes effect January 1 has been extended through December 20. The extension gives consumers more time to enroll, in light of November's extreme winter weather.

"NYSOH has experienced active enrollment since the start of 2015 period and we're committed to keep the momentum going to get New Yorkers covered," said NYSOH Executive Director Donna Frescatore. "The extreme weather that parts of the state experienced in November has effectively cut short the enrollment period for many consumers who are making decisions about 2015 coverage options or enrolling in coverage for the first time. By extending the deadline - in an already condensed enrollment period - we are ensuring that all New Yorkers have the same opportunity to start the new year with affordable coverage in a plan that's right for them."

NYSOH decided to extend the December 15 deadline after last month's extreme winter weather covered Western New York and other parts of the state in multiple feet of snow, making it unsafe for people to attend in-person enrollment activities. In many cases, the sheer volume of snow – more than seven feet in some areas – that resulted in significant power outages, road closures, and suspension of public transportation, prevented New Yorkers from being able to access in-person enrollment assistance from navigators, insurance brokers and other certified assistors. Nearly half of New Yorkers who enrolled through NY State of Health in the first open enrollment period worked with an in-person assistor.

Since NYSOH's second open enrollment period began on November 15, more than 154,562 people who were not enrolled in coverage through the Marketplace in 2014 have newly enrolled. This does not include people who were enrolled through the Marketplace in 2014 and are now in the process of renewing their coverage for next year.

"In its first open enrollment period, NY State of Health has allowed nearly one million New Yorkers to gain access to quality and affordable health care coverage," said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. "One month into the second open enrollment period, the continued popularity of NY State of Health makes it a model for the nation."

"We are very pleased to see that New Yorkers are continuing to turn to NY State of Health for access to quality affordable health insurance," continued Frescatore. "The new features of NY State of Health have improved accessibility and choice for consumers and will continue to draw in thousands of New Yorkers from a wide array of communities during this second open enrollment period."

Premium rates for 2015 plans will continue to be more than 50 percent lower than they were prior to the establishment of the Marketplace, with nearly 75% of the people enrolled expected to get financial assistance to further lower their monthly costs. In a recent survey conducted by the NY State Health Foundation, 92 percent of newly-insured New Yorkers reported that they were satisfied with their coverage. Additionally, more than 90 percent reported that NYSOH has given them peace of mind and confidence that they will be able to get care when they need it.

This deadline extension will give those seeking to renew their coverage or enroll for the first time five extra days to visit, call Customer Service at 1-855-355-5777, or meet with a Navigator to complete their enrollment.