Because of the economic tailspin caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, many in our area will lose their jobs and, in turn, their health insurance. COBRA may be available but coverage from someone’s group health plan might not be the best option. There are alternatives that may provide the same or better coverage at a lower cost.
The regulatory system is complex but Neighborhood Legal Services (NLS) has certified healthcare navigators who can provide free and confidential guidance through the New York State of Health Marketplace. While NLS usually serves the low-income community, no person seeking help will be turned away during the pandemic.
In addition, our help is unbiased. There are some organizations that provide a similar service, but their representatives may have an interest to steer potential customers towards a healthcare plan that benefits the healthcare provider first. We don’t do that, and our help also includes finding coverage specific to a consumer’s needs, filling out the forms for eligibility and enrollment. Because of social distancing restrictions, all evaluations occur over the telephone and typically take about 20 minutes.
Since Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended the special enrollment period for uninsured New Yorkers through Sept. 15, I implore people who must make these vital healthcare decisions to contact us at nls.org/contact or 1-888-869-6576.