Wednesday, May 8, 2019


NYC Care to launch in the Bronx on August 1

  Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled the NYC Care card, the key to quality and affordable health care for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who cannot afford or are ineligible for insurance. When NYC Care launches in the Bronx on August 1, residents will be able to use their NYC Care Card to receive their own doctor, get preventative screenings and tests, and connect to a 24/7 service to help make appointments.

An estimated 300,000 New Yorkers are currently ineligible for health insurance, including people who can’t afford insurance and undocumented immigrants, and will be able to enroll in NYC Care. The $100 million program – one of two major components of the City’s Guaranteed Care commitment – will be fully implemented across all five boroughs by the end of 2020, making it as easy as possible for New Yorkers to get the health care they need.

     Mayor de Blasio with an NYC Care Card in his hand

“In New York City, we know health care is a human right, which is why we're making that right a reality,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We’re on track to guarantee health care for every single New Yorker. Access to quality and affordable health care is one of the biggest burdens working people face. Now they won’t face it alone.”

“Today’s announcement affirms New York City’s commitment to ensure that every New Yorker has access to the health care they need – which of course includes mental health,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “When we fail to invest in wellness and prevention, we pay the price in dollars spent and lives damaged. New York is pioneering a better, more inclusive approach and will continue to lead the nation in providing behavioral health services to every person in our city.”

Mayor de Blasio announced a series of milestones toward implementing Guaranteed Care in NYC:
·         New NYC Care Card, which will provide each member with a dedicated doctor, access to a 24/7 customer service line to make appointments, and clear copays that are affordable to each individual member.
·         New NYC Health + Hospitals doctors hired in the Bronx to serve approximately 10,000 patients expected to enroll in NYC Care in the first six months.
·         New Executive Director for NYC Care, Marielle Kress, who was instrumental in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) successful expansion of Medicaid in states across the country.
·         Access to 24/7 pharmacy services in the Bronx, launching on August 1, that will provide NYC Care members with easy access to affordable medication.
·         GetGoveredNYC, the City’s health insurance outreach and enrollment initiative, has enrolled more than 19,000 New Yorkers into coverage in 2019, a 19 percent increase from the same time period last year.

“When I was appointed, one of my first tasks was to financially stabilize and transform NYC Health + Hospitals into a health care delivery system built for the 21st century landscape,” said Dr. Herminia Palacio, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. “It’s upon the achievements of the last three years that we are now poised to lead the charge and make the Mayor’s vision of Guaranteed Care a reality for all New Yorkers. We are excited about the progress made towards preparing for the launch of NYC Care, and look forward to providing New Yorkers without access to health insurance a key the City’s health care.”

“The Mayor’s Guaranteed Care commitment is a significant investment in the health and future of New York City – there is nothing else like it,” said Dr. Mitchell Katz, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “For NYC Care, the health system is investing in new primary care doctors in the Bronx, launching a new customer service system, and preparing for our new members and patients at our clinics and hospitals. Every New Yorker has the right to health care and now they will.”

In January 2019, Mayor de Blasio announced the launch of the largest, most comprehensive initiative in the nation to guarantee health care for every New Yorker. When fully implemented, New York City will ensure the estimated 600,000 New Yorkers currently without insurance are connected to health care – including NYC’s Public Option, MetroPlus – or have direct access to the nation’s largest public health care system through the NYC Care program.


Mayor de Blasio announced the appointment of Marielle Kress as Executive Director of NYC Care. A native New Yorker, Kress brings more than a decade of experience in policy management, operations and advocacy related to complex health care programs. Previously, she played a critical role in the successful expansion and modernization of the Medicaid program under the Obama Administration. As the Executive Director, Kress will be responsible for the strategic rollout, operations and implementation of NYC Care. She started in this role on May 6.

“For far too many people, health care feels like a luxury and a privilege rather than a basic human right,” said Marielle Kress, Executive Director of NYC Care. “I am excited to be joining the extraordinary team at NYC Health + Hospitals and I am especially honored to be leading the NYC Care program that will guarantee every New Yorker access to the health care they deserve.”

“I relied on Marielle’s judgment and expertise while overseeing the implementation of complex and historic changes to the Medicaid program,” said Cindy Mann, former Deputy Administrator of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP services within CMS during the Obama Administration. “Marielle brings energy, passion, and deep dedication to serving the most vulnerable members of our society. I’m confident she will provide the leadership needed to ensure that health care is a basic right for all New Yorkers.”

NYC Health + Hospitals is actively preparing for a successful launch of NYC Care in the Bronx this summer. NYC Health + Hospitals will hire seven doctors to serve the estimated 10,000 patients expected to enroll in NYC Care in the first six months. Since the program guarantees a dedicated primary care provider for all members, the new hires will help manage the expected increase in demand for services.

Additionally, the Mayor revealed the design for the NYC Care card. The blue and orange card features the city skyline as part of the NYC Care logo and the tagline “Your Key to the City’s Health Care.” All members will receive this card, which will be the key to providing members with valuable information about their dedicated doctor, a 24/7 customer assistance line where they can access an operator to help answer questions, and clear information about copays that are affordable to individual members. NYC Care’s logo “Your Key to The City’s Health Care” is a joint effort between City Hall and Area 23, an FCB Health Network company. This is the first project assigned by NYC’s Creative Council, recently formed to advise and provide the city with creative solutions. Susan Credle, FCB’s Global Chief Creative Officer, is a founding member of the council.


As part of the its mission to ensure every New Yorker has access to quality, affordable health care, the City doubled down on its outreach to connect eligible New Yorkers to health insurance options that fit their needs.

·         GetCoveredNYC
GetCoveredNYC, the City’s health insurance outreach and enrollment program, has enrolled 19,942 New Yorkers in health care coverage from January through March 2019, more than half of the Mayor’s stated goal of enrolling 31,000 New Yorkers by July 2019. Since the Mayor signed Executive Order 40Connecting New Yorkers to Health Insurance, GetCoveredNYC has collaborated with 34 City agencies on outreach and enrollment opportunities that make it easier for New Yorkers to determine their eligibility for coverage, especially outside of the annual Open Enrollment Period, and sign up for insurance.

Since its creation in 2016, GetCoveredNYC – which is overseen by the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit – has now helped more than 160,000 New Yorkers enroll in the New York State’s ACA health insurance marketplace. About 2.5 million New York City residents are now insured through the state’s insurance marketplace as of January 2019, according to the New York State Department of Health’s county-level data on health insurance enrollment.

·        MetroPlus, the City’s Public Option
MetroPlus today also launched its latest public awareness campaign, “Health Care is Your Right. Not a Privilege.” The campaign will be seen through the end of June on subway cars, bus shelters near NYC/Health + Hospitals locations, ethnic and community-based print media, and featured at other venues across New York City, including Brooklyn Cyclones games. The ads will be available in eight languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, Haitian Creole, Polish and Russian.

MetroPlus provides affordable health insurance that connects insurance-eligible New Yorkers to a network of providers that includes NYC Health + Hospitals’ 70 patient care sites, including 11 hospitals. MetroPlus serves as an affordable, quality option for people on Medicaid, Medicare, and those purchasing insurance on the exchange.


·         Eligibility DeterminationNYC Care will be open to anyone who has lived in New York City for six months or longer and does not have an affordable insurance option or who is ineligible for insurance.
·         New 24/7 customer assistance operation: Starting August 1, NYC Care members will have access to a 24/7 customer assistance line where they ask questions about NYC Care and speak to an on-call clinician for all of their needs, including prescription refills. Members will also be able to schedule appointments at convenient times and will have assistance to help navigate members through the NYC Health + Hospitals system.
·         Expanded pharmacy hours: NYC Care patients will have 24/7 access to medications in the Bronx starting Aug. 1. This includes expanded hours at all NYC Health + Hospital pharmacy locations in (NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi, NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, and NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx). Until now, uninsured patients have been limited to NYC Health + Hospital pharmacy access during business hours, which makes it challenging for patients to get their medications if they are at work.
·         Outreach with Community-based OrganizationsTo reach eligible New Yorkers, NYC Health + Hospitals is partnering with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. The health system will invest $450,000 to partner with community-based organizations in the Bronx to reach New Yorkers eligible to participate in NYC Care. This money will fund up to 15 full-time outreach workers, or the part time equivalent, who will conduct direct, grass-roots outreach to targeted population in a culturally appropriate and sensitive manner and make appointments with NYC Care enrollment staff.

“In January Mayor de Blasio made a huge commitment to New Yorkers to guarantee affordable and direct access to healthcare right here in our City. Today we are so happy to stand alongside our Mayor and his administration as we make meaningful progress and fulfill this wonderful promise. We welcome the appointment of the Director of NYC Care and the new NYC Care Card will go a long way not only for its practical purpose but as a symbol that all New Yorkers are welcome and valued in our City. It will truly be New Yorkers' key to health and wellness. We look forward to working with the administration to get the word out about this initiative which has the potential to literally save lives,” said Theo J. Oshiro, Deputy Director of Make the Road New York. 

"We are optimistic about the progress to make timely, high-quality care available to all Bronx residents this summer," said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition. "As long as health insurance discrimination against immigrant communities persists in New York State, programs like NYC Care represent a critical improvement in helping uninsured New Yorkers get more patient-centered care. We look forward to continuing to work with Health + Hospitals, city officials, and trusted community-based organizations to get NYC Care off on the right foot." 

“The significant increase in enrollments this year in light of the federal government’s efforts to sabotage the ACA is a testament to GetCoveredNYC’s innovative outreach strategies and our partner agencies’ work to reach uninsured New Yorkers,” said Director of the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit Omar Khan. “All New Yorkers, regardless of income or immigration status, should have access to quality health care, and we look forward to partnering with NYC Care to make that a reality.”

“Health care is a right for all, not a privilege for only those who can afford care,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “The City guarantees care for all New Yorkers, regardless of your family's income or immigration status. Reliable access to affordable and quality health care services is a must for everyone to maintain optimal health.”

Above - First Lady Charlene McCray speaks about how the new NYC card will help people get the out reach that they need. 
Below - Marielle Kress, Executive Director of NYC Care.

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