in a First of its Kind Forum
Health and Human Services Regional Director brings both states together to share best practices for expanding access to care and reducing the rate of the uninsured thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
New York, NY – May 11, 2015 – Both New York and New Jersey have exceeded the national average for reducing the uninsured population since the inception of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid expansion, and leaders from both states convened to discuss best practices. Both states have expanded Medicaid, and while New York operates a state-based exchange and has collectively expanded coverage to over 2 million residents, New Jersey participates as a federal exchange, and collectively has reached over 700,000 residents.
“Health coverage has expanded significantly in both states – with New York and New Jersey operating under different Exchange models - and this summit is an opportunity for leaders to learn from their counterparts and identify ways to deliver improved healthcare and access going forward,” said Region II Regional Director Jackie Cornell-Bechelli. “I’m so pleased to see such enthusiastic commitment to reduce the rate of the uninsured, which is leading to transformative change in the lives of hundreds of thousands people in our area.”
The conference featured State and Federal officials, healthcare providers and professionals, community leaders, navigators and advocacy organizations that have been instrumental in expanding access to coverage in both states. With both states expanding Medicaid and seeing such high enrollment numbers - leading to a halving of the uninsured population - the region serves as a model across the nation.
"Hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans were able to gain health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act. We have made incredible strides in New Jersey to ensure optimal coverage for our residents and expanded access to health care, yet we know there is more work to be done," said Senator Nia H. Gill (D-Essex, Passaic). "This summit provided policymakers, federal officials and community organizations a forum to discuss best practices in order to continue our efforts to improve access to healthcare for the people of New Jersey."
“As health advocates, we have been proud to work in the past two years with NY State of Health, our state marketplace, to spread the word about the availability of affordable quality coverage to millions of New Yorkers,” said Bob Cohen, Policy Director of Citizen Action of New York and a member of the Steering Committee of Health Care for All New York. “Together, we have promoted enrollment through a number of activities, including regional summits involving a wide array of stakeholders, outreach at fairs and public events and media work. We are excited about the opportunity presented by today’s event to share information on best practices, which we hope will strengthen efforts in both states, particularly when it comes to hard to reach communities.”
Over two hundred participants joined the conference to learn how to best overcome barriers that still do exist, and how to make the enrollment experience even more successful during the third enrollment season. Panelists covered a range of issues, including health literacy, network adequacy, serving immigrant populations. There was also ample time for networking among health and advocacy leaders in both states.
The third open enrollment period begins on November 1, 2015 for coverage starting on January 1, 2016. Individuals may be eligible for coverage during the Special Enrollment Period throughout the remainder of the year due to life events, such as the birth or adoption of a child, marriage or divorce. For more information or to inquiry about eligibility, please visit www.healthcare.gov