Requirement to live in New York for 6 months to benefit from the NYC CARE health program is eliminated

New Yorkers recently arrived in the Big Apple no longer have to wait 6 months to get free or low-cost health care through the NYC Care programfrom which they have already benefited more than 110,000 immigrants.

And it is thanks to a change in requirements of the City to be able to access the medical care program, launched since 2019, now, from the first day, any person who arrives in the five boroughs, and who, due to their low income, cannot pay or cannot process a health insurance policy. medical coverage due to your immigration status, you can apply for the health program.

This was announced on Wednesday Manuel Castrocommissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), after revealing that the City eliminated the requirement to reside for at least six months to qualify for the program, and warned that they anticipate that in the coming weeks there will be more immigrants arriving in the city from the border.

“We look forward to many more people joining NYC Care; we want to see another 100,000 New Yorkers in our communities accessing health services. That is why the clear message that we are sending to the people, especially to the newly arrived people and to our Central American colleagues, who are arriving now, is that they come to our clinics,” said the official from the Adams Administration.

“Here we are to help them, not only in health matters but we can connect them with other services they need. Our clinics are a refuge for our immigrant community with access to doctors who know their problems and that is why we will do everything possible to support them,” added Castro.

The MOIA Commissioner was emphatic in affirming that one of the decisions that motivated the elimination of the requirement of time living in the city to access NYC Care is to make it easier for more uninsured people to get health care.

“In this city we want newly arrived immigrants feel welcome from day one and can go to public hospitals or Gotham Health clinics and we want people to be treated preventively and not just when it’s too late,” added the official, who clarified once again that the information provided to the NYC Care is completely confidential and is not shared with federal authorities, much less ‘La Migra’.

Another detail that Castro highlighted is that those who wish to apply to the medical care program and do not have the requested papers, including the lack of identification, can go talk to a social worker to start the process and speed up being seen by a doctor. .

“We also want you to know that they will not be turned away if they are missing a document. They can bring it later when they have it. They are not going to be denied service because of that, because we know that many immigrants arrive with nothing, and we know that in these weeks we are going to see more immigrants arrive here without documents from the border and we want them to check their health,” added the former director of the NICE organization.

urge to sign up

Dr. Jonathan Jimenezexecutive director of the NYC Care program, which is managed by Health + Hospitals (H+H), joined the call for more immigrants to join the initiative since they arrive in the city and warned that the health care plan, which has $100 million in investments, is poised to increase the number of patients they currently see.

“We are hearing in our communities that there are already many newcomers who do not know where to go and how to access health care, and that is why our goal is that everyone who needs it in the city has access to our hospitals,” said the doctor, adding that in addition to helping improve the health of New Yorkers, boosting preventive services costs the City less.

It’s better to start seeing our people before they end up in emergency roomsWell, in addition to being lower cost, as a doctor I believe that morally we should do whatever is necessary to not wait for people to finish the emergency room, even more so knowing that we have a functioning medical care program,” said the official.

Dr. Jimenez He stated that being the municipal health system of the city of New York the largest in the country, with 11 hospitals, under the NYC Care program, patients have access to general practitioners and specialists.

No one should be afraid to come to request health care services from day 1 who lives here in New York, regardless of immigration status,” said the doctor, who added that currently more than 60% of NYC Care users speak Spanish as their preferred language and 30% English.

The official also mentioned that once medical care services are requested, two weeks after you can have an appointment with a family doctor and depending on the specialist that is needed, it could take less than six weeks to be seen.

“Sometimes you have to wait like in any other system for appointments with more requested specialists or less time, for example for eye doctors or dentists, but the appointments are going mostly quickly,” added the executive director of NYCCare.

NYC Care is a health care access program that guarantees free services and low-cost services offered by NYC Health + Hospitals and beneficiaries such as German Fernandezwho has coverage since 2020, warn that it has been a salvation.

“East medical service for me has been the difference between life and death. I have several difficult conditions, and if I did not have this option, insurance being so expensive or even without being able to qualify for my status, I could not have entered treatments that have me on my feet, feeling healthier”, commented the immigrant, who assures pay $0 for your medical appointments, because of your low income, and $2 for your prescription drugs.

Where to apply for NYC Care?

  • You can call the 24-hour NYC Care hotline at (646) 6922273
  • You can do this through 22 community organizations like Nice, Make the Road and others that help immigrants
  • You can call line 311 to request information
  • You can go to any of the 11 public hospitals in the City and ask to speak with a social worker to process your access to the health care program
  • You can walk up to Gotham Health units around town

What is NYC Care?

  • NYC Care is a free or very low-cost health care access program operated through the City’s hospital network NYC Health + Hospitals for New Yorkers who cannot afford or are not eligible for health insurance for your immigration status.
  • NYC Care provides a membership card for medical care and offers 24/7 patient service
  • Under the NYC Care program, beneficiaries can receive primary care, mental health services and sexual and reproductive health care, specialists, as well as low-cost medications 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Services are offered in multiple languages, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay
  • The information collected by the medical assistance program is completely private and confidential and is not shared with federal agencies.
  • If you are interested in enrolling in the NYC Care program, you can call (646)-692-2273
  • For more information about the program, you can visit

What is needed to apply for NYC Care?

  • Personal and income data will be asked, which is not shared with immigration officials.
  • You may present as proof of identity a driver’s license or non-driver’s ID, NYC ID, passport, foreign ID, green card or work permit, naturalization certificate, visa, school ID, marriage certificate, birth certificate, EBT or CBIC
  • To prove income you may present pay stubs (last 4 weeks), letter of employment, pension/SSI/Unemployment Assistance Award Letter/Check, proof of address, postmarked envelope, utility bill, rental agreement, statement mortgage or affidavit
  • If you have already been assessed for insurance eligibility by an attendee from another organization or by yourself through the New York State of Health Marketplace, you may share a copy of the determination
  • NYC Health + Hospitals used to ask to confirm having lived in New York City for six months or more, but now this requirement has been eliminated and you can apply from the first day in the city
  • After applying for NYC Care you can get your first appointment with a primary care doctor in two weeks
  • For specialists, it depends on availability and the type of doctor you need to see, it can take 6 weeks or less
  • NYC Care in numbers

    • 110,000 New Yorkers already have access to healthcare through this free or low-cost plan
    • 60% of beneficiaries speak Spanish
    • 30% prefer English as their primary language
    • 2019 the health program was implemented
    • 50% of NYC Care users are newly connected to primary care
    • 46 languages ​​are spoken in the NYC Care program
    • 669,000 primary and specialized care appointments had been received by the beneficiaries until the spring
    • 76,000 virtual appointments have been made. Gynecology, cardiology, surgery, ophthalmology, dentistry and podiatry are some of the specialized areas offered
    • 90,000 beneficiaries have received cancer screening tests recommended by the US Prevention Task Force.
    • 53% of beneficiaries with diabetes enrolled in the program for at least 6 months have seen an improvement in their hemoglobin A1C levels
    • 40% of beneficiaries with hypertension, enrolled for at least 6 months, have seen an improvement in their blood pressure