NY State of Health Announces Annual Partnership with Food Pantries Across the State, Helping More New Yorkers Get Affordable Health Coverage During the Holiday Season

Enroll by December 15 for Health Coverage Starting January 1

NY State of Health, the state's official health plan Marketplace, today announced for the fifth consecutive year that it is partnering with food pantries to inform consumers about their options for high quality, affordable health insurance. Certified in-person enrollment assistors will be available at food pantries across the state during the Thanksgiving holiday and throughout December to answer questions about enrolling in health coverage and to provide help with accessing enrollment and financial assistance. Additionally, the Marketplace continues to offer eligible New Yorkers the option to receive information on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during the enrollment process, including an option to receive more information on how to apply. SNAP helps low-income working people, senior citizens, the disabled, and others to feed their families.

"NY State of Health is pleased to continue its partnership with food pantries to help more New Yorkers who are food insecure get the coverage and care they need during flu season and the ongoing COVID-19 public emergency," said NY State of Health Executive Director Danielle Holahan. "Our assistors can provide support to consumers in their preferred language to help them enroll in a plan that best satisfies their health care needs."

NY State of Health will provide enrollment help at outdoor mobile food vans and indoor food pantry events across the state. Additionally, informational rack cards about Marketplace coverage will be included with charitable Thanksgiving and holiday dinner baskets that food pantry recipients may receive when they visit. Consumers must enroll by December 15, 2021 for health coverage starting January 1, 2022. Find a NY State of Health event at a food pantry in your community here.

In New York, just over one in ten households experience food insecurity. Struggling New Yorkers continue to rely heavily on SNAP as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. As of June 2021, there were more than 2.8 million SNAP recipients throughout the state. During the marketplace enrollment process, NY State of Health informs members who may be eligible for SNAP and provides them with more information through a partnership with the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) that began in 2019. Since then, nearly 325,000 people have accessed hunger relief when applying for or renewing health coverage through the Marketplace.

Many New Yorkers visiting food pantries may qualify for free or very low-cost health insurance coverage through Medicaid or the Essential Plan. Consumers may also qualify for expanded tax credits to help pay for their premiums in a Qualified Health Plan through the American Rescue Plan. All health plans offered through NY State of Health cover preventive care, such as routine doctor visits and screenings, at no additional cost.

The NY State of Health Open Enrollment Period in a Qualified Health Plan ends January 31, 2022. Enrollment in the Essential Plan, Medicaid and Child Health Plus is open all year. Consumers must take action to enroll or renew by December 15, 2021 for coverage effective January 1, 2022. Consumers who wish to opt in to receive text messages offering important NY State of Health updates and enrollment deadline information may text START to 1-866-988-0327.

Consumers can apply for coverage through www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov, by phone at 1-855-355-5777 and by getting free help from an enrollment assistor in their community.