The COVID-19 pandemic not 100% finished and the new variants continue to affect mainly the most vulnerable communities in the Big Apple, such as immigrants and low-income New Yorkers, a large percentage of whom do not have access to quality health care. And after Albany did not include in the recently approved state budget the Health Care for All Actit is even more difficult for the undocumented to have health insurance.
And to help all immigrants benefit from the medical services offered in the City, the network of 11 public hospitals ‘NYC Health + Hospitals’ (H+H)announced that it eliminates residency eligibility requirement for six months for immediate access to health care through the ‘NYC Care’ plan.
This program, which provides free or very low-cost health care for New Yorkers who cannot pay or are ineligible for health insurance due to their immigration status, required applicants to prove that they had been living in one of the five counties of the Big Apple for at least half a year.
“New York City believes that health care is a human right, and we want anyone who can’t pay or isn’t eligible for insurance to get the care they deserve,” said the President and CEO of NYC Health + HospitalsDr. Mitchell Katz, adding that NYC Care “promises new members a primary care appointment within two weeks and access to specialty care if needed.”
According to H+H authorities, until last week the plan had already reached more than 110,000 immigrants who call this city home. “This reaffirms our commitment to serving all New Yorkers regardless of immigration status or lack of health insurance, and we encourage you to seek care without fear,” the hospital corporation emphasized.
The Interim Executive Director of NYC Care, Jonathan Jimenez, assured that eliminating the residency requirement “will allow more New Yorkers who live in the five boroughs to get the care they deserve. As a primary care physician at NYC Health + Hospitals, my patients know how important it is to access the care they need.”
Ecuadorian: the 100,000th member
H+H reported that NYC Care’s 100,000th member was Jorge Lara, 54, from Ecuador. The immigrant developed severe arthritis after settling in New York City, and was forced to quit his job and rely on the help of others when his arthritis became debilitating.
“I was not eligible for health insurance and with no income, could not pay medical costs out of pocket. She found out about NYC Care from a friend. And now Lara receives primary and specialized care, to which He attributes a spectacular improvement in his daily life, ”said H+H.
Following the announcement of the removal of the six-month residency eligibility requirement, Mayor Eric Adams reiterated that “when we say health care is a right and not a privilege in New York City, we point to our system. public health care program and its access to health care program, NYC Care.”
And the president sent a direct message to the new immigrants: “You are a New Yorker from the first day you moved here…diabetes doesn’t wait six months, why should you wait to get medical care?”
The authorities called on anyone who needs medical coverage to call 646-NYC-CARE to see if you qualify for NYC Care membership with proof of an address in all five boroughs.
“In NYC we continue to lead the nation in recognizing health care as a human right,” he said. Manuel Castro, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “MOIA will continue to work hand-in-hand with H+H to ensure that immigrant communities across the city reach this much-needed program, and connect with the care they deserve.”
To apply to NYC Care:
- If you are interested in enrolling in the NYC Care program, you can call 1-646-692-2273.
- For more information about the program, you can visit www.nyccare.nyc
- 110,000 members as of April 20.
- 46 different languages are spoken by the members.
- 60% speak Spanish, being the most common language, followed by Chinese, Russian and Polish.
- 81% of members live in the 33 neighborhoods identified as most affected by COVID-19.
NYC Care figures: