The State of New York held a press conference at Queens Central Library announcing the opening of New York State of Health.

On Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at midnight, the Affordable Care Act went into effect across the United States despite the federal government shutdown. After years of debate in Congress, the Affordable Care Act will now help the estimated 15.4% of uninsured Americans and the 12.4% of uninsured New Yorkers receive affordable healthcare.  To help New Yorkers understand and register for health insurance, the State of New York launched the New York State of Health website. Through the site, New Yorkers are able to shop for health plans that will go into effect on January 1, 2014.

To announce the launch of the new site, the State of New York held a press conference at Queens Central Library on Tuesday morning. Speakers at the event included New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales and President of Public Health Solutions Ellen L. Rautenberg.  AAFE was present at the event as AAFECare Center for Seniors staff members have been trained and certified to serve as IPA/Navigators for the Affordable Care Act. IPA/Navigators will provide in person application assistance to individuals, families and small businesses and their employees at initial enrollment and when renewing coverage. IPA/Navigators remove barriers to the application process by providing assistance in multiple languages in community based settings during non-traditional hours such as evenings and weekends.

Project CHARGE, a health collaborative of 16 community partners that address health access for Asian Pacific Americans in New York City, found that 2.3 million Asian Americans in the U.S. are uninsured. In New York city alone, 1 in 8 Asian Americans do not have health insurance, and 83% of uninsured New Yorkers are foreign born.

“AAFE is thrilled to be able to assist the 2.5 million uninsured New Yorkers receive access to quality, affordable healthcare,” said Executive Director Christopher Kui. He added, “Many of our clients in Chinatown, Flushing, and Sunset Park lack health insurance, but through our linguistically competent staff, we can explain the new system to them so that they may become insured.”

If you need assistance in applying for health insurance, please contact AAFECare Center for Seniors at 212-358-9922 or visit the center at 111 Norfolk Street, New York, NY 10002.