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How can New York City reach the “last mile” of the uninsured?

How can New York City reach the “last mile” of the uninsured?

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important health insurance can be for those in need of medical care and preventative care. Today, political experts are evaluating a series of proposals aimed at halting the increase in the number of insured persons in the state.

The proposals unveiled in a virtual press conference by the Citizens Budget Commission and the Community Service Society also come as Governor Kathy Hochul is expected to unveil her first budget proposal next week.

There are approximately 1 million people in New York City who, for various reasons, do not have health insurance.

“How do we cover that last million people in New York State who are in desperate need of health insurance not only for their economic stability but also quite frankly to lead more productive lives,” said Elizabeth Benjamin , from the Community Service Society.

Ideas for expanding the ranks of policyholders to cover the rest of the estimated 20 million New Yorkers include a state mandate for health insurance, premium assistance through grants, and a public option – similar to programs. from Colorado, Nevada and Washington State. .

Covering currently ineligible immigrants would add another 200,000 people, a proposal that was also adopted by a coalition of Blue Shield insurers in New York. At the same time, political experts believe that there must be a strong outreach program and facilitated registration for people who do not have insurance.

Yet closing the remaining coverage gaps in New York City remains a challenge, said Andrew Rein, chairman of the Citizens Budget Commission.

“The last mile is really tough, which is why New York executives should consider a range of strategies to increase the number of New Yorkers who have insurance,” he said.

And that would impact the insurance industry as a whole in New York City, and could affect those who already have coverage in the process.

“It will have effects on individuals and their personal expenses, on insurance markets and their impact on premiums, on the system of insurance providers, including the safety net system,” Rein said.

Last week, Hochul did not discuss the insurance policy in his State of State address. But she called for better access to health care overall with an increase in the sector’s workforce.

“A once in a lifetime pandemic,” she said, “demands a once in a lifetime response.”

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