Skip to main content
Health

Low-cost and free health insurance

Health Insurance Assistance | NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) / NYS Department of Health

1. How it Works

Health insurance helps pay for planned or unexpected medical care. Health insurance options are available to all New Yorkers, even if you are not a citizen. Counselors are available to help you choose a health insurance plan.

  • Public health insurance plans are free or low-cost. These include Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and the Essential Plan. You can enroll in these plans anytime in the year.
    • If you are already enrolled with coverage through February 28, 2022, your coverage will be extended for 12 more months.
    • When you apply, your eligibility for a public plan will be checked.
    • Adults under 65, low-income pregnant women, and children should enroll through NY State of Health.
    • Enroll in plans like Medicaid through the NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) if you are:
      • age 65 or over
      • any age who are living with a disability or blindness
      • receiving Medicare and are not a parent or caretaker relative of minor children
      • young adults under age 26 who were formerly under foster care
  • Private health insurance plans are plans where you pay a certain amount for coverage. These are also known as Qualified Health Plans.
    • New Yorkers can enroll or change their private health insurance coverage through January 31, 2022 during open enrollment. Enroll through NY State of Health.
    • You might be able to get financial help when you enroll through NY State of Health.
    • You can also buy private insurance directly from an insurance company. But, you will not be eligible for financial help.

2. Determine your eligibility

You may qualify for free or low-cost public health insurance based on your age and income.

  • See the eligibility criteria for Medicaid, Child Health Plus, or the Essential Plan.
  • Enrollment services and application counselors are also available to all New Yorkers who need help understanding and enrolling in health insurance.

If you do not qualify for public health insurance or cannot afford to buy a plan:

NYC Care is a health care program at NYC Health + Hospitals provides low- and no-cost health care services. It is available to New Yorkers who do not qualify for or cannot afford health insurance.

  • Call 646-NYC-CARE (646-692-2273) to enroll in NYC Care.
  • Visit the NYC Care website to find NYC Health + Hospitals patient care sites in your community.

Take a short survey to see if you might be eligible for this or 30 other programs.

Am I Eligible?

3. What you need to include

To enroll in public health insurance plans, you will need:

  • Citizenship/immigration documents indicating your lawful immigration status
  • Social Security Numbers (SSN)
  • Date of birth for everyone applying in household
  • Current employment information
  • Household income

Next section:

4. How to Apply

4. How to apply

Here are your options.

Apply online

These groups of people should apply online at NY State of Health for health insurance:

  • adults under 65
  • low-income pregnant women
  • children

Enroll online

Apply by mail

Apply by phone

Apply in person

Come back to it later.
We can send you a link to this page to help you get back to it when you’re ready.

More ways to get help with this program

Learn more about health insurance options

Learn more about your options through HRA’s Citywide Health Insurance Access.

Request enrollment help

GetCoveredNYC helps New Yorkers enroll in health insurance. Dedicated specialists can assist you in your language for free.

Request a counselor call

Complete a Health Insurance Enrollment Assistance Inquiry Form to receive a call from an enrollment counselor. Free enrollment assistance is available regardless of immigration status and in many languages. Your information will be kept private.

Call 311

For general questions on health insurance and to find an in-person assistor.

Last Updated Monday, January 10th, 3:26pm

Stay updated on benefits

Get occasional emails about benefits news, upcoming enrollment periods, and deadlines. Translations are available in 11 languages.