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Know Your Rights
Category: Health

🩺💕Take action for #Coverage4All!

  • Arline Cruz Director of Health Programs

Last week, on Valentine’s Day, our members and allies held a powerful action in front of Governor Hochul’s office in Manhattan.

Their message to the Governor: show your love for immigrants and expand health care coverage to everyone, regardless of immigration status.

Last year, Governor Kathy Hochul promised to ask the federal government for a “1332 Waiver” to pay to expand NY’s Essential Plan Program to cover low-income undocumented immigrants in New York State as well as increase the financial eligibility limits for those who were already eligible to participate. But earlier this month, she backtracked on that promise to immigrants. This is unacceptable!

Will you join us in submitting a public comment by March 11th, to the Department of Health and Governor Hochul to oppose the 1332 State Innovation Waiver application, which excludes many immigrants from the request to use federal funding for our Essential Plan program?

Governor Hochul must support Coverage for All legislation that would open the Essential Plan to cover all New Yorkers earning up to 250% of the federal poverty level with health insurance regardless of immigration status.

The state’s Basic Health Program trust fund has a $9 billion surplus which could pay for this program. Immigrant coverage through the Waiver would also save New York $500 million, which it currently spends providing bare bones Emergency Medicaid coverage to immigrants. Passing this life saving legislation is not only the right thing to do for our state, but it also makes sense financially.

As our member Dolores Juarez from Staten Island said: “I have suffered from diabetes for a long time, however, due to not having access to health insurance and the high cost of the medicine, I have not been able to start my treatment. This is leading my disease to progress and risking the integrity of my overall health. I demand the Governor update her waiver request to include people like me, and for the State legislature to pass Coverage for All.”

Submit a comment TODAY to oppose the 1332 State Innovation Waiver application because it excludes immigrants, and demand for a revised 1332 waiver request to include undocumented immigrants. It only takes 2 minutes!

Coverage for All would cover an estimated 245,000 uninsured people in our state, like our member Dolores, who are left out of federally funded health insurance.

Thank you for taking action!