Low-Income Insurance in New York State

New York health care plans offer coverage for adults, children and families.
New York health care plans offer coverage for adults, children and families. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Low-income New York residents can obtain health insurance coverage through multiple state-sponsored programs. Each program has different plans and eligibility guidelines, and the majority of programs base qualification on family size and household income. While certain low-income residents may qualify for free medical benefits, others may have to pay premiums, deductibles and co-payments. New York provides comprehensive health care programs, offering coverage for adults, children, families and people with special needs, such as AIDS patients.


New York's Medicaid program offers medical coverage for low-income residents, disabled people and the blind. The program requires participants to meet income and resource limits. Medicaid offers multiple plans, and each plan has different eligibility criteria. Coverage provided through Medicaid plans can pay for doctor visits, dental care, inpatient and outpatient services, nursing home care, psychiatric treatment, prenatal care, hospital services and emergency transport. New York's Medicaid program also offers a managed care health maintenance organization plan, which allows participants to receive care from a primary doctor. People with HIV or AIDS can enroll in a Medicaid program specifically designed to meet their health care needs, with services provided through HIV specialists.

Family Health Plus

For families who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, New York offers the Family Health Plus plan. The program provides coverage for people between the ages of 19 and 64. Participants can receive coverage for prescription medications, laboratory services, hospital care, dental services, hospice care, diabetic supplies and physician services. The Family Health Plus program bases eligibility on family size and household income. Qualified participants pay no premiums or deductibles, but must make co-payments for certain medical services.

Healthy NY

The Healthy NY program provides health care coverage for individuals and business owners. Program benefits can help participants pay for inpatient and outpatient services, home health care, emergency care, doctor services and laboratory services. The program offers coverage for working individuals, and those who have lost their health care benefits due to unemployment, change of employer, a death in the family or termination of a group health care plan. Healthy NY does not extend eligibility to people eligible for Medicare, and participants must meet income guidelines to qualify. The program is available through all health maintenance organizations in New York State.

Child Health Plus

The Child Health Plus program provides health care benefits for children under 19 years of age. The program bases eligibility on income limits, and children who do not qualify for Children's Medicaid may be eligible for Child Health Plus. Children who already have coverage through another plan, or have access to coverage through the state employees' health care benefits program, cannot qualify for Child Health Plus. Children from low-income households may qualify for free coverage. Premium costs for children who do not qualify for free coverage start at $9 per month per child, as of March 2011. The program can help pay for services such as physical examinations, outpatient surgery, immunizations, laboratory services, dental care, surgical services and emergency care.

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