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Letter: Letter From the Governor About Health Insurance for the Uninsured

I am writing to you today to let you know about a new temporary statewide insurance option for uninsured legal residents who have medical conditions. This new plan, called the NY Bridge Plan, is New York’s version of the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan that was created under federal health care reform. The NY Bridge Plan is a valuable product of health care reform in that it provides health insurance coverage at a lower price than other options currently available in the individual market. Through the NY Bridge Plan, premiums will be $362/month for residents of upstate counties and $421/month for residents of downstate counties. A list of upstate and downstate counties is available in the NY Bridge Plan brochure.

Health insurance coverage is essential to having access to care. Through this program, more New Yorkers who need medical care will be able to receive it. The NY Bridge Plan covers a broad range of services, including primary and specialty care, inpatient and outpatient hospital care, and prescription drugs, as well as assistance from professional nurses and caseworkers to help members manage chronic conditions and maintain overall health. Coverage for a pre-existing condition begins right away, with no waiting period. Eligibility for this program is not based on income. To be eligible to apply, individuals must:

• Be a legal U.S. resident; 

• Be a resident of New York State;

• Have a pre-existing medical condition;

• and not have had health care coverage for the last six months.

Applications are available now. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. If the NY Bridge Plan reaches capacity, a waiting list will be established. Coverage will be effective October 1, 2010, and will be available until January 2014, when more health insurance coverage options become available through a new Health Insurance Exchange.

More information on the NY Bridge Plan, including the application and brochure, is available through I encourage you to apply for this program if you are eligible, and to also help us spread the word about this new health insurance option to your uninsured family and friends.

David A. Paterson

Governor of New York State