Information Center

What Type of Coverage Would You Like Information About?

General Information

Medicare

Public Health Insurance (Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus)

Commercial Insurance

Uninsured

I Don't Know

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General Information

Understand Your Insurance and Rights

Health insurance can be a very complex system to navigate. Understanding how your health insurance and plan work can take a great deal of time and knowledge. That’s why CHA is here to answer your questions about your insurance and help you understand your coverage and rights, as well as what protections are in place to make sure you have access to medical care. 

For more in depth information, please see the CHA Publications.

Access Care

Accessing care can be hard even if you have insurance. There are many free or low-cost programs for individuals to receive medical care, especially in New York City, for people who are uninsured or underinsured and have insufficient coverage. These options are often based on a sliding fee scale, which means that low-income people will pay a lower fee than people with higher incomes. Also, many of these affordable programs are open to all individuals, regardless of their immigration status.

CHA can help you find a location near you and access free or low-cost care for the following:

  • A physical or immunizations
  • Hospital care, including surgery
  • Dental care
  • Family planning services
  • Prescriptions
  • Cancer or chronic disease services

 

Get Help with Medical Bills

Do you need help paying for your medical costs, such as hospital bills, premiums or prescriptions? There are programs that provide financial assistance to help eliminate or lower your health care bills. CHA can connect you to such programs and provide information on each program’s level of assistance and eligibility rules.

If you’d like additional information on help with specifically your hospital bills, please click here.

 

Medicare

Get Help with Medicare Costs

Medicare costs, such as premiums and prescriptions, can be high. Fortunately, there are several programs like Medicare Savings Program (MSP), Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB), Specified Low Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLIMB), Qualified Individuals (QI) and Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) that assist individuals with such costs. CHA can provide more information on these programs and connect you to them. For more information on these programs, please visit here or visit our publications page for information on getting help with your costs.

 

Coordinate Your Medicare with Other Coverage

CHA knows that coordinating your Medicare with other coverage, such as Medicaid or commercial insurance, can be difficult. That’s why we’re here to help you coordinate and navigate your various health insurances so that you can optimize services and benefits.


Public Health Insurance

Keep Your Coverage: Recertification

People with Medicaid, Family Health Plus, or Child Health Plus must prove periodically that they are still eligible for public health insurance. This process is called Renewal or Recertification, and it is now easier than ever to renew. Many people do not even need to send documents in with their renewal form.

Each year about 50 percent of New Yorkers who are enrolled in these programs lose their health insurance because they don't complete the renewal form that is sent to them in their ninth month of coverage. If a person does not recertify, their Medicaid, Family Health Plus or Child Health Plus coverage will stop.

Recertification is simple with a little help, but many people do not know where to go for this help. Community Health Advocates can help people recertify and make sure they keep their coverage.

 

Request an Exemption

Most Medicaid beneficiaries are now required to join a Medicaid Managed Care plan and must visit that plan’s in-network providers. However, some people may request an exemption so that they can have regular Medicaid, or fee-for-service, which allows individuals to see any provider that accepts Medicaid. CHA can help you determine if you qualify for an exemption and assist you with your exemption request.

 

Commercial Insurance

Medical Bills Appeals Packet

Do you need help paying for your medical costs, such as hospital bills, premiums or prescriptions? There are programs that provide financial assistance to help eliminate or lower your health care bills. CHA can connect you to such programs and provide information on each program’s level of assistance and eligibility rules.

If you’d like additional information on help with specifically your hospital bills, please click here.

Click here for a Do-It-Yourself Appeals Packet if you would like to appeal:

 

Keep Your Insurance (COBRA)

Sometimes people lose their health insurance because of changes at work. Many times, a cut in working hours, divorce, or lay-off can lead to an individual or their family losing the insurance they had through work.

Luckily, a federal law called the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)  lets many people continue to buy their health insurance in these types of situations. An employee may also keep certain members of his/her family on COBRA (the entire family or employee is not required to join).

CHA can help you with your COBRA questions. Even if you are not eligible for COBRA or cannot afford the premiums, contact us for help accessing the health care you need if you have had a change in your employment-sponsored coverage. For more information on COBRA, please click here (link to COBRA one-pager)

Change Your Insurance or Plan

All health plans are not created equal. Health plans offer different benefits and should be selected accordingly to best match your health condition and needs. If you would like to enroll, change or disenroll from your insurance or health plan, CHA can help you by providing information on options and/or the process to disenroll.

 

Uninsured

Get Health Insurance

Are you uninsured and worried about healthcare? 

You are not alone. 2.8 million New Yorkers are uninsured.

In New York State, there are several free or low-cost public health insurance programs available for people who don’t have and/or can’t afford health insurance. You must meet certain requirements to be eligible for these programs.

Community Health Advocates can assist you in finding health insurance that best suits your needs. A CHA advocate will work with you to determine your eligibility and options for various public, subsidized or commercial insurance, as well as help you enroll into a plan of your choosing.

There are three FREE eligibility screening tools available: EnrollNY, the New York City Health Insurance Link, and HealthCare.gov. These screening tools are easy to use and will give you a good idea of what programs you and your family may be eligible for. If the screening finds you may be eligible for a program that suits your needs, Community Health Advocates can help to get you enrolled and receiving health care as soon as possible.

If you are found ineligible for these programs, that doesn’t mean you should have to go without health care or pay full cost. There are places to go to for help with your health needs- whether you need a low-cost physical, want to enroll in commercial insurance or have a large hospital bill you can’t afford to pay.

Access Care

Accessing care can be hard even if you have insurance. There are many free or low-cost programs for individuals to receive medical care, especially in New York City, for people who are uninsured or underinsured and have insufficient coverage. These options are often based on a sliding fee scale, which means that low-income people will pay a lower fee than people with higher incomes. Also, many of these affordable programs are open to all individuals, regardless of their immigration status.

CHA can help you find a location near you and access free or low-cost care for the following:

  • A physical or immunizations
  • Hospital care, including surgery
  • Dental care
  • Family planning services
  • Prescriptions
  • Cancer or chronic disease services

I Don't Know

If you do not know whether or not you have insurance or if you don’t know what kind of insurance you have, there are some ways to find out:

  • If you are employed, check with your employer’s HR department to see if you have employer-sponsored insurance. If you do, ask for more information on your health plan and benefits.
  • Look in your wallet to see if there are any insurance cards. If there are, call the member services number on the back to check if your coverage is still active.
  • Check with your spouse, parents, or a family member/guardian who may have enrolled you in health insurance.

 

    For assistance, call Community Health Advocates at 1-888-614-5400.

    Benefits Plus - Community Health Advocates - Community Service Society of New York - Health Care For All New York
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