WXXI AM News

State health insurance sign-ups break record

Feb 19, 2019

More New Yorkers signed up for health insurance through the state’s marketplace for 2019 than for any previous year, according to numbers from the state Department of Health.

That marketplace, called New York State of Health, allows customers to see insurance plans that meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

More than 4.7 million New Yorkers enrolled between November and February for insurance coverage that spans 2019.

That’s an increase of almost half a million from last year’s enrollment period.

New York’s enrollment surge comes at a time when enrollment in similar insurance plans is shrinking in other states. Nationwide sign ups for those plans was down this year compared to last.

New York State of Health Director Donna Frescatore said part of that broader decline is likely due to “uncertainty at the federal level,” driven by republican-led efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and court rulings invalidating parts of the law.

She said the New York governor’s office is working with the state legislature to ensure some elements of the federal law are protected locally in case the ACA is repealed or overturned. Those provisions include a ban on insurance limitations for pre-existing conditions and a requirement that insurance plans would cover a list of 10 essential benefits.