Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

April 8, 2016
Contact: County Executive's Office, (845) 638-5122
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, MPH, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


NEW CITY, NY - - As part of National Public Health Week, Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert are updating the community about the issue of access to health insurance.

Trained staff at the Health Department, called "Navigators," can help you sign up in-person, free of charge, in English, Spanish or Creole for health insurance through the NY State of Health Marketplace.  Call 845-364-3394 to schedule an appointment. You can also sign up online at; by phone (toll-free) at 1-855-355-5777; or in-person, free of charge with a Navigator from the Monsey Community Outreach Center who speak English and Yiddish. Call 845-356-9600 for an appointment.

Think you missed your chance to enroll in a low-cost health plan through NY State of Health? Maybe not.  Even though enrollment for 2016 has ended, you still may be able to enroll and get financial assistance.  You can enroll at any time if you are eligible for the Essential Plan, Medicaid or Child Health Plus, if you are an American Indian or Alaska Native, or if you had what is called "a qualifying life event" within the past 60 days.  This includes moving to New York State, getting married or divorced, having a baby or adopting a child, becoming a citizen, national or lawfully present individual, losing employer insurance, or no longer being eligible to be on your parent's plan.  Small business owners and employees interested in the Small Business Marketplace can enroll any time during the year.

Low and moderate income New Yorkers who are struggling to pay for health insurance will be able to get much more affordable comprehensive health care, called the Essential Plan, a new health plan for New Yorkers, only available through the NY State of Health Marketplace. It costs much less than other health plans, and it offers the same essential benefits. Who can buy it? Lower income people who don't qualify for Medicaid or Child Health Plus. You pay a monthly fee, called a premium, of either $0 or $20 depending on your income. It has no deductible, so the plan starts paying for your health care right away. You get free preventive care like routine doctor exams and screenings to keep you healthy. The plan covers the same services covered by other plans, such as: doctor visits, including specialists; tests ordered by your doctor; prescription drugs; and inpatient and outpatient care at a hospital. You may be required to pay a small fee, called a co-payment, for services like doctor's visits, urgent care, hospital stays, lab work and prescription drugs.  You qualify if you are a U.S. Citizen or a qualified immigrant under the age of 65 who earns too much to qualify for Medicaid (that means you are a single person earning more than $17,655- $23,540 per year, or a family that meets the income requirements).

Our County Health Department helps to lay the foundation that puts healthy choices within reach, whether  through research, data collection, health education, policy change, or direct services. Creating the healthiest nation, and county, is also up to each one of us. We need to make the choices that improve our own health and support efforts to make the healthy choice the easy choice for everyone in our community. Learn more about your Health Department, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for important health information   delivered right to you. Visit  for more information about National Public Health Week.