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Open Enrollment Begins November 1


New Options for Health Insurance 

New Yorkers who qualify financially will be able to sign up for a new low cost health insurance plan during the open enrollment period beginning November 1, 2017.  The private insurance plan covers ten categories of “Essential Health Benefits” and is low cost or no cost, depending upon income.  The Essential Plan will particularly help young working people with incomes under $24,000.  The plan is free for those making less than $18,000.


The plan was designed for lower wage earners, according to Steve Wood, Assistant Director of Support Services, Insurance Programs.  The policy is free or $20 a month, depending on income.  There are some co-pays involved, but they too are low.  “This plan can change lives and give peace of mind to countless people who cannot now afford health insurance,” said Wood.


One of the new standards for Affordable Care Act exchange plans is mandatory coverage for medical services across ten categories of so-called “Essential Health Benefits.” These categories include everything from emergency services, to prescription drug coverage and preventative health services.


Any health insurance plan sold through New York State of Health will need to include coverage for medical services in the following 10 categories in accordance with the Affordable Care Act legislation:


  • Ambulatory patient services, such as doctor’s visits and outpatient services
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care


ACR Health has Navigators in all nine counties to assist consumers in enrolling in health insurance.  Call 800.475.2430 or email navigator@acrhealth.org to make an appointment. 

ACR Health Navigators are available to help individuals and families select a health plan, including Qualified Health Plans, the Essential Plan,  Medicaid, and Child Health plus through the NY State of Health Official Health Plan Marketplace.  This service is free, local, and confidential.


An individual can enroll in insurance before November if:


  • You lose your health insurance
  • Lose or change your job
  • Change in income
  • Change in the number of dependents in your family through birth, death, or adoption
  • Divorce, legal separation, or annulment
  • Death of the primary insurance holder in the family
  • Pregnancy



There is no open enrollment period for the Essential Plan, Medicaid, and Child Health Plus.  You can enroll any time!


ACR Health Navigators are available by appointment in all 9 counties; Cayuga, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego and St. Lawrence.


Call 800.475.2430 or email navigator@acrhealth.org