New York has extended its special health insurance enrollment period an additional 30 days, through August 15.

During the special enrollment period, residents can apply for coverage through New York’s health insurance marketplace or directly through a health insurance provider, regardless if they’ve recently experienced one of the “qualifying life events” that are usually required in order to apply for health insurance outside the state’s annual open enrollment period.

New York’s open enrollment period for 2020 ended on February 7, but the state health department began an additional special enrollment period March 16 to ensure all residents have access to healthcare coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The special enrollment period has been extended each month since. It will now last through August 15.

“During these difficult and unprecedented times, access to quality, affordable health care is critically important to New Yorkers’ well-being,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press release announcing the extension. “By extending the open enrollment period, we’re making sure New Yorkers who need affordable health care coverage can get it and help keep themselves and their families safe.”

Residents who have recently experienced a “qualifying life event” — including marriage, change of citizenship or loss of employer coverage — may apply for coverage outside open enrollment periods. Those who have lost employer coverage must apply within 60 days of losing their coverage. 

Residents who have lost income may also be eligible for Medicaid, the state’s “Essential Plan,” Child Health Plus or subsidized health insurance. Application for these programs is open year-round.

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Katie Morosky
Katie, winner of the 2016 James Murphy Cub Reporter of the Year award from the L.I. Press Club, is a co-publisher of RiverheadLOCAL. A Riverhead native, she is a 2014 graduate of Stony Brook University. Email Katie