Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the opening of the New York State of Health Marketplace, 2.8 million New Yorkers have enrolled into quality, affordable health coverage. Among the provisions of the ACA is the basic health program, which allows states to provide low-cost coverage to eligible individuals who have incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level (roughly $23,700 for a single person).
Since the Essential Plan became available in 2015, nearly 400,000 New Yorkers have enrolled. They now have access to quality healthcare with no deductible and premiums of $20 or less.
Yet New York residents who are Permanently Residing under the Color of Law (PRUCOL) are not eligible for the Essential Plan. Many of those affected are young adults who grew up in the U.S. and are beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. Ironically, these individuals are already covered by Medicaid if their income is below the threshold. Once their incomes increase and they are no longer eligible for Medicaid, they face a “coverage cliff” and often must choose between work and access to health insurance.
The New York State Assembly is working to expand Essential Plan eligibility to include immigrants who are PRUCOL. The Assembly included $10.3 million in its 2016-17 budget to provide this coverage. Unfortunately, the funding was ultimately cut during budget negotiations. Assembly members Richard Gottfried and Marcos Crespo have since introduced legislation that would expand Essential Plan eligibility to include immigrants who are PRUCOL. Bill A10054 was successfully voted out of the Assembly Health Committee on May 17 and is now awaiting a vote by the Ways and Means Committee.
Health Care for All New York has drafted a Letter of Support for A10054. Please feel free to adapt this letter for your organization. Submit completed letters to Assembly Member Gottfried (firstname.lastname@example.org)