The coverage for all campaign, led by Make the Road New York and the New York Immigration Coalition, call on the New York legislative body to allocate $13 million in the FY2022 budget to create a temporary state-funded Essential Plan for New Yorkers up to 200% of the federal poverty level who have had COVID-19 and are excluded from coverage because of their immigration status (introduced as A10474/S8357).
Immigrant New Yorkers have been at the forefront of the state’s fight against COVID-19, representing one-third of the state’s essential workers and playing a key role in all sectors of our battle against the pandemic, from food production and delivery to construction and frontline health care provision. This ongoing exposure has contributed to the disparate outcomes in COVID-19 infection and death, which have disproportionately afflicted immigrant communities of color. Another important driver of this inequity is the ongoing disparity in access to health care services caused by the state’s persistent and pernicious exclusion from health insurance coverage of 400,000 New Yorkers who do not qualify because of their immigration status.
This proposal would cover more than 5,000 New Yorkers – those who have suffered the direct consequences of COVID-19 and need ongoing care to make a full recovery. New York State should create a temporary state-funded Essential Plan for New Yorkers with income up to 200% of the federal poverty level who have had COVID-19 and are excluded from coverage because of their immigration status by enacting A10474/S8357.
- New York has a history of providing coverage to immigrant communities excluded from federal programs. The state should continue to step up where federal policies fall short.
- One of the primary predictors of mortality among people who contract COVID-19 is the existence of an underlying health condition. The connection is clear – by failing to provide meaningful ongoing access to affordable health services through coverage, the state is exacerbating the COVID-19 crisis.
- The pandemic presents a grim opportunity to see the life-and-death consequences of this inaction.