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Governor Cuomo: Special enrollment for uninsured extended through the end of 2020

By The SATimes News Service

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Sept 16 announced that the Special Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers will be extended through December 31, 2020, as the State continues to provide supportive services during the COVID-19 public health crisis. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York State’s health insurance marketplace, or directly through insurers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and it’s more important than ever for New Yorkers to have access to high-quality, affordable health insurance,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York has resources available to help those who need coverage during this difficult time, and anyone who doesn’t currently have health insurance, regardless of the reason, should visit NY State of Health and enroll today.”

New York State of Health Executive Director Donna Frescatore said, “With the ongoing public health emergency, the ability to enroll in coverage prior to next year remains important. The extension of the special enrollment period through the end of the year will overlap with the annual Open Enrollment Period, which will permit consumers to continue coverage into 2021 without a break in coverage. ”  

Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell said“Thanks to New Yorkers, we bent the COVID-19 curve. However, as the pandemic continues, it is especially important for New Yorkers to have access to high-quality, affordable health insurance.  Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York is establishing a special enrollment period through the end of the year, providing uninsured New Yorkers another opportunity to sign up for the health coverage they need.”

Individuals who have lost employer coverage must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage and individuals who have lost income may be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, Child Health Plus, or subsidized Qualified Health Plans.

Individuals who enroll in Qualified Health Plans through NY State of Health or directly through insurers by October 15, 2020 will have a choice of coverage start date of either October 1, 2020 or November 1, 2020.  Those enrolling between October 16 and December 15, 2020 will have a choice of coverage start date of November 1 or December 1, 2020.  Those enrolling between December 16 and December 31, 2020 would get a January 1, 2021 coverage start date.  Importantly, consumers will have the option to continue their enrollment in the same plan in 2021 without a break in coverage. Individuals who are eligible for other NY State of Health programs – Medicaid, Essential Plan and Child Health Plus – can enroll year-round.  Finally, as directed by Governor Cuomo, all New York insurers have waived cost sharing for COVID-19 testing. 

As always, consumers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health online at nystateofhealth.ny.gov, by phone at 1-855-355-5777, and by connecting with a free enrollment assistor.

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Satish Tripathi and Sid Mukherjee in NYS commission on economic recovery

New York: Pulitzer Prize-winning Indian-American physician Sid Mukherjee and compatriot higher education leader Satish Tripathi have been named by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo among members of a commission that will focus on plans to jumpstart the state’s economy badly hit by the COVID19 pandemic.

Cuomo on Sunday announced that the state’s Blue-Ribbon Commission, chaired by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, will also focus on improving telehealth and broadband access using new, innovative technologies.

The 15-member commission will include Mukherjee, Tripathi and other eminent leaders namely Chair of Rockefeller Foundation Richard Parsons, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker and President of Cornell University Martha Pollack and IBM Chair Ginny Rommety.

India-born Mukherjee is a hematologist and oncologist and an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for ‘The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.’

Tripathi is the President of University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Tripathi graduated from Banaras Hindu University and holds three master’s degrees – one in computer science from the University of Toronto and two in statistics from the University of Alberta and Banaras Hindu University.

According to his profile on the university website, Tripathi is a leader in the national higher education community and serves on the board of directors for the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU).

Cuomo had tapped Schmidt to head the commission that will look into how the state’s economy can recover, taking into account lessons learnt from COVID19 pandemic. “How does that Eric Schmidt commission come up with new ideas that we can jump start to grow the economy? That is what the next chapter is going to be about. It is going to be about the government working with the private sector, with businesses to jumpstart the economy, to stimulate it, to get some big projects going that get the business sector engaged and confident and believing once again.”

“How do you improve the mass transit system? How about new technology for education? How about new telemedicine? We talk about a new health care system that can do testing and tracing and has surge capacity and hospital beds. Let’s build that new public health system and let the government get ahead of it and let the government lead the way,” Cuomo said.

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