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New York Immigration Coalition and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest Congratulate New York State of Health on Increased Insurance Enrollment

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Sukjong Hong,  Main Phone: 917-426-8162,  E-mail: growland@thenyic.org
New York   (Friday, July 31, 2015)

New York Immigration Coalition and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest Congratulate New York State of Health on Increased Insurance Enrollment

New York Immigration Coalition and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest Congratulate New York State of Health on Increased Insurance Enrollment

Report Indicates Increased Access to Healthcare for Racial and Ethnic Minorities, Immigrants, and
Limited English Proficient New Yorkers

The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) congratulate the New York State of Health (NYSOH) on the increase in health insurance enrollment, as indicated in its 2015 open enrollment report released on Wednesday, July 29. Although the report makes it evident that the work to reach New York’s diverse immigrant communities must continue, the State has made important progress in reaching racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, and New York residents with preferred languages other than English.

“The New York Immigration Coalition applauds the state on its important success in reaching diverse immigrant communities, particularly for enrollees that identify as Hispanic and speak Spanish,” says Steven Choi, Executive Director of the NYIC. “The report highlights important areas for additional work to secure broader enrollment for non-Spanish speaking communities.”

“These successes highlight the value of a cadre of in-person assistors, NYSOH Navigators and certified application counselors with deep cultural competence and language capacity in a total of 48 different languages.” says Claudia Calhoon, Director of Health Advocacy at the NYIC. “We will continue to leverage the frontline perspective of these immigrant-serving organizations to better understand and address gaps in information and enrollment.”

“We commend New York State on its successful second year of NYSOH and its commitment to increasing access to affordable health insurance for all New Yorkers,” said McGregor Smyth, Executive Director at NYLPI. “With New York among the most diverse states in the country, we’re proud that NYSOH is more accessible to meet the diverse ethnic and immigrant communities it serves. We look forward to working with the State to help achieve 100% enrollment for all New Yorkers.”

Added Laura Redman, Director of Health Justice at NYLPI, “The increase in enrollment, especially among Spanish-speaking communities, means the State is making affordable healthcare accessible for the millions of New Yorkers who have long been uninsured. Improvements such as the Spanish-language website, materials in 17 languages, outreach to immigrant communities, and call center assistance in 91 languages, have been critical to expanding awareness about eligibility to immigrant communities most in need, and we will continue to work with the State until New York State of Health is accessible to all New Yorkers.”

Among the important accomplishments reflected in the report:

  • 13% of enrollees selected Spanish as their primary language (as opposed to 10% in 2014).
  • 25% of Marketplace enrollees describe themselves as Hispanic, a population that is disproportionately likely to be uninsured (an increase from 21% in 2014).

In addition to the progress made this year, the report indicates that important work remains. To the degree it is reported, enrollment among language groups other than Spanish does not appear to have increased since last year. Among individuals that describe themselves as Asian/Pacific Islander, enrollment appears to be the same as in 2014.

New York State has worked in collaboration with NYLPI, the NYIC, and other immigrant health advocates to identify and resolve potential language barriers in accessing the Marketplace for thousands of limited English proficient (LEP) and immigrant New Yorkers. Additionally, it has committed to continuing to work closely with these community-based organizations to reach immigrant and LEP communities, and identify and remedy any remaining access barriers so that all New Yorkers, regardless of language, have access to health insurance.

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The New York Immigration Coalition is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State that work with immigrants and refugees.The NYIC aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all by promoting immigrants’ full civic participation, fostering their leadership, and providing a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) advances equality and civil rights, with a focus on health justice, disability rights and environmental justice, through the power of community lawyering and partnerships with the private bar. Through community lawyering, NYLPI puts its legal, policy and community organizing expertise at the service of New York City communities and individuals. NYLPI’s partnership with the private bar strengthens its advocacy and connects community groups and nonprofits with critical legal assistance.

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