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The promise of health care reform has not been realized fully in New York State, particularly in the extension of health coverage to low- and moderate-income children. Statewide, children lack insurance coverage and sufficient access to quality care in their communities. Among the most serious barriers is the lack of culturally and linguistically competent healthcare for immigrant children and children of color.
There are more than 180,000 children statewide without health insurance, which puts New York in sixth place in terms of states with the highest number of uninsured children2. Historically, most of these children have been eligible for coverage through either Medicaid or Child Health Plus, but are not enrolled due to either a lack of awareness or insurmountable bureaucratic and administrative barriers2. The following are examples of everyday obstacles people face:
Children of immigrant parents may not receive care for which they are eligible due to a language difference between their parents and the healthcare provider. Foster children are automatically dropped from their health insurance plan once they turn 18, leaving them without coverage.
Our goal is to ensure children have access to insurance coverage and a prevalent supply of access points for quality primary and specialty care in their local communities. We have made progress by helping to make insurance options more accessible and facilitating enrollment. Working with our allies, CDF-NY helped established a consumer-friendly, state-based health insurance marketplace that enrolled over 100,000 previously uninsured New York children.