NY State of Health Launches Back-to-School Communications Tool Kit with Information on Actions New Yorkers Can Take to Keep Health Insurance Coverage

Online Tool Kit Provides Teachers with Necessary Resources to Teach Students and Families About Health Insurance Through the Marketplace

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 8, 2023) – NY State of Health, the state's official health plan Marketplace, today announced the availability of its back-to-school online tool kit, a resource with informational materials and messaging, to educate New Yorkers about the importance of health insurance during the upcoming school year.

Following the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) continuous coverage requirement, more than 9 million public health enrollees must now take action to stay covered. The tool kit is specifically tailored for education departments, parent teacher associations, and partnering organizations serving children, to assist with outreach to students and their families at risk of losing their Medicaid, Child Health Plus or Essential Plan coverage.

"Back to school is an exciting time in a young person's life, and it's so important that they make their health a priority as well as stay informed about their health insurance options," State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "I thank NY State of Health for creating an opportunity for families to renew their health insurance coverage and find health insurance plans that fit their children's needs. We encourage parents and educators to use this tool kit to educate families on the best health insurance options for them."

Additionally, NY State of Health enrollment assistors attended several back-to-school community events across the state to answer questions about health insurance through the Marketplace and navigating the renewal process. Find an event near you this weekend.

"NY State of Health provides high-quality, affordable health insurance that includes primary and preventive care, routine screenings and immunizations at little to no cost for eligible New Yorkers, which is essential to help students learn and thrive each school year," NY State of Health Executive Director Danielle Holahan said. "This back-to-school tool kit is full of resources to assist parents and caregivers with accessing coverage, and to educate them on its importance in safeguarding the health of their families and children."

With the end of the PHE continuous coverage requirement, New York has been transitioning to post-pandemic operations, including the return of eligibility reviews for public health insurance programs. Renewal notices are currently being sent to enrollees in Medicaid, Child Health Plus and the Essential Plan by NY State of Health, the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA), and local Departments of Social Services. The State is monitoring enrollment during this process with a Public Health Emergency Unwind Dashboard, which tracks renewal status, demographics, and state program transitions every month.

Notices are distributed based on enrollees' enrollment end dates and will include a renewal deadline to take action before risking a gap in coverage. Parents should still respond to renewal letters even if they don't think they're eligible, as their children may be.

During this time, NY State of Health will continue their robust public education campaign and encourages consumers to sign up for text alerts to receive important reminders, including when it is time to renew their health insurance. Consumers can subscribe to NY of Health alerts by texting START or INICIAR to 1-866-988-0327.

The Marketplace will continue to be open for enrollment throughout the renewal process. For New Yorkers whose incomes or family circumstances may have changed, a broad range of free or low-cost health insurance options are still available. New York's Essential Plan for low-income individuals will smooth the transition for consumers who no longer qualify for Medicaid, and enhanced federal tax credits will make coverage more affordable for individuals transitioning to a Qualified Health Plan.

All health plans offered through NY State of Health cover preventive care, such as routine doctor visits and screenings, and pre-existing conditions at no additional cost. For personalized support shopping for a health plan or help determining and renewing coverage, consumers can locate an enrollment assistor in their local community here.