NY State of Health Partners with Equinox to Spread the Message of Affordable Health Coverage through Delivery of 10,000 Thanksgiving Dinners

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 24, 2015) - NY State of Health (NYSOH), the state's official health plan Marketplace, and Equinox are working together to share the message of affordable health coverage with 10,000 New Yorkers who will receive a traditional Thanksgiving meal through the 46th Annual Equinox Thanksgiving Day Community dinner event; the Capital Region's largest and longest-running holiday tradition.

"Many people would be surprised to know how easy it is to get a good, low-cost health plan through the Marketplace," said NY State of Health Executive Director Donna Frescatore. "Working with Equinox through their annual event will help us to reach many uninsured New Yorkers where they live and help them learn how to access affordable health plans."

Open enrollment is underway now for New Yorkers looking for affordable health insurance coverage in 2016, through January 31, 2016. NY State of Health offers a choice of Qualified Health Plans to residents in every county of the state. There are approximately 50,000 uninsured in the capital region.

NY State of Health consumer materials will accompany meal totes reaching many individuals and families who may qualify for a free or low cost health plan through the Marketplace. This information will include an informational card with details on obtaining affordable quality health insurance and a fact sheet on the new Essential Plan available to lower-income New Yorkers this year.

"Equinox is pleased to provide NY State of Health with the opportunity to connect with thousands of Capital Region households through the Annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner," said Christina Rajotte, Equinox's Director of Development and Community Relations. "The purpose of the community dinner is much more than providing a nourishing meal—it's a genuine community effort bringing together 3,500 volunteers and hundreds of community partners, like NY State of Health, who care for the well-being of our neighbors in need, and that spirit carries on beyond Thanksgiving."

A new option on the Marketplace for 2016 is the Essential Plan. Available only through NY State of Health, the Essential Plan will lower premiums to $20 or less a month and provide comprehensive benefits for hundreds of thousands of lower-income New Yorkers.

The Essential Plan will cover essential health benefits, including inpatient and outpatient care, physician services, diagnostic services and prescription drugs, with no annual deductible and low out-of-pocket costs. Preventive care, such as routine office visits and recommended screenings, will be free. For more information on the Essential Plan, please visit http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/EssentialPlan.

About NY State of Health

New York opened its Health Plan Marketplace, NY State of Health, in October 2013. The Marketplace's one stop health insurance shopping experience offers high quality comprehensive health plans. NY State of Health is the only place where consumers can qualify to get help paying for coverage through premium discounts or tax credits. Eligible New Yorkers can also enroll in Medicaid, Child Health Plus and the Essential Plan through the Marketplace all year. For more information about the NY State of Health Marketplace, please visit: https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/ or call Customer Service at 1-855-355-5777, TTY: 1.800.662.1220 or find an enrollment assistor.

About Equinox

Equinox is a nonprofit community organization in the Capital Region serving –

  • Adults and youth with chemical dependency
  • Victims of domestic violence (Hotline 518.432.7865)
  • Adults, youth, and families living with mental illness
  • Urban teens and young adults
  • Homeless youth

The Equinox Thanksgiving Hotline (518.434.0131) is open from mid-October through Thanksgiving. For more information about Equinox and the Thanksgiving dinner visit www.equinoxinc.org.