NY State of Health Partners With Food Pantries Statewide

Increased Traffic During Holiday Season is Opportunity to Reach More New Yorkers

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 21, 2017) – NY State of Health, the state's official health plan Marketplace, is partnering with the Food Bank Association of New York State and food pantries across the state to help consumers learn about quality, affordable health insurance. Certified enrollment assistors will be on-site at more than 100 food pantry events throughout November and December to answer questions, make appointments, and conduct health plan enrollments.

"Many consumers who experience the threat of hunger need health insurance coverage and may qualify for free or low-cost quality health plans available through the Marketplace," said NY State of Health Executive Director Donna Frescatore. "In-person assistors will be on-site at food pantries during the busy holiday season to share information and to help consumers enroll in a health plan on the spot. Thank you to the Food Bank Association of New York State for facilitating our education and enrollment efforts."

Many of the Marketplace enrollment events will occur in targeted areas of New York State during busy holiday assistance distribution days when consumers register or pick up holiday meals. In addition, NY State of Health materials will be included in free meal totes to let people know how they can get help enrolling in a health plan. To find a NY State of Health event at a food pantry in your community click here.

"Hunger does not discriminate, and can impact anyone at any time. All it takes is an unexpected unemployment, a chronic illness, a winter full of high heating bills, or possibly all of them at once," said Food Bank Association of New York State Executive Director Anita Paley. "Situations like these befall New Yorkers all over our state every day, forcing them to make the difficult choices between putting food on their tables and paying their bills. Partnering with NY State of Health to help New Yorkers get health coverage moves them toward greater health and economic security and a better quality of life."

Millions of New Yorkers are fed each year through over 5,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other non-profit feeding programs. According to Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, in New York, 2,502,250 people (12.6 percent of New York State's total population) are struggling with hunger.

More than 4 million New Yorkers – that's more than 1 in 5 - have enrolled in quality, affordable health insurance coverage through NY State of Health. The Marketplace offers a range of programs and allows you to quickly compare health plan options and apply for assistance that could lower the cost of your health coverage.

For eligible lower-income New Yorkers, the Essential Plan is extremely popular. If you qualify, coverage could be as little as $20- less than a dollar a day or $0 for comprehensive, high quality coverage with no deductible and free preventative care.

Open Enrollment in a Qualified Health Plan continues through January 31, 2018. Consumers must enroll by December 15, 2017, for coverage beginning January 1, 2018. Enrollment in the Essential Plan, Medicaid and Child Health Plus is open all year.

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 the Food Bank Association of New York State

The Food Bank Association of New York State represents a statewide network of nine regional food banks that feed over 3 million people annually by distributing nearly 180 million pounds of food through 5,000-member agencies including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other non-profit organizations."