Albany, NY (February 4, 2013)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State has been awarded a $185.8 million federal grant to implement its State Health Benefit Exchange that will make it easier for New Yorkers to obtain affordable health insurance coverage.
"The creation of an easy-to-use Health Exchange is an important step to reduce the number of uninsured New Yorkers and make health insurance more affordable for individuals, families and small businesses," Governor Cuomo said. "This latest grant is a reflection of New York's leadership in creating an effective Exchange and will help us to build on the progress we have already achieved."
New York was one of five states to receive a Level Two Exchange Establishment grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that will facilitate the development of an organized marketplace where individuals and small businesses can obtain affordable, comprehensive health insurance.
The Exchange Establishment grant will provide New York with funding to:
- Build a new, modern information technology system to enable people to apply for and enroll in health insurance on-line;
- Establish a first-class customer service center to help individuals and small businesses select health insurance that best meets their unique needs;
- Train and deploy a statewide network of in-person assistors to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate assistance to consumers;
- Cover staffing resources needed to plan and implement the Health Exchange;
- Implement accounting and monitoring systems to ensure accountability;
- Develop and conduct an evaluation to measure progress toward achieving the goals of reducing both the number of uninsured New Yorkers and the cost of insurance; and
- Create and launch a marketing and educational outreach campaign to help the state realize its enrollment goals.
Open enrollment in New York's Health Benefit Exchange will begin Oct. 1, 2013, with coverage starting Jan. 1, 2014. The open enrollment period will run for six months. It is estimated that at full implementation, one million New Yorkers will enroll in and obtain insurance through the Exchange, including 615,000 individuals and 450,000 small business employees.
On April 12, 2012, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order to establish a statewide Health Benefit Exchange. Working with stakeholders, legislators and numerous organizations, the State has made significant progress in the planning and development of the Health Exchange. In all, New York has received nearly $370 million in federal funds to establish the Health Exchange. Additionally, in recognition of the State's progress, on Dec. 14, 2012, HHS granted New York conditional approval to operate a state-run Health Exchange.