The number of New Yorkers between the ages of 50 and 64 who lack health insurance has grown since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and many of those residents are Black and Latino.
AARP New York on Friday pointed to the rising cost of health insurance premiums during the pandemic. As many as 362,000 New Yorkers are affected by the issue, the group said in a statement.
The organization pointed to the state's health insurance marketplace as a place for these New Yorkers to enroll in a lower-cost health care plan. Financial assistance for doing so has expanded since the approval of a federal stimulus measure in March.
That measure provided for an expansion of tax credits for health insurance premiums geared toward lower-income people.
“This is a great opportunity for New Yorkers to get additional financial help, and AARP New York encourages all who need it to take advantage of these federal benefits,” said AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel.
More than 5.8 million New York residents have signed up for health insurance through the state marketplace.
It's estimated roughly 208,708 older adults in New York who are uninsured would be eligible for coverage. And about 153,196 people who are already enrolled in an individual plan through the marketplace could qualify for new or expanded tax credits that would lower their premium.
“While the Affordable Care Act has greatly reduced the number of older adults who are uninsured, coverage has remained unaffordable for far too many people aged 50-64, particularly those who are Hispanic/Latino and Native Americans,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer. “We want to make sure that the millions of currently uninsured older adults know that new subsidies are available to them.”