ALBANY, N.Y. (WUTR) — As part of New York’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the open enrollment period for uninsured New Yorkers will be extended through March 31. Applications are open through New York’s official health plan marketplace, NY State of Health, or directly through private insurers.

“Ensuring all New Yorkers have access to health insurance is essential, not only as we continue to fight the war against COVID, but to foster healthier, more resilient, and more equitable communities as we rebuild post-pandemic,” Cuomo said. “By extending this deadline until March, New Yorkers who need health coverage will have additional time to enroll and find the plan that works best for themselves and their families.”

The Office of the Governor says extending open enrollment helps align New York with the federal Public Health Emergency policy, itself recently extended to April 20. The extension gives those eligible for qualified health plan insurance extra time to get coverage in 2021 through any NY State of Health program.

Linda A. Lacewell, Superintendent of Financial Services, says, “This opportunity to access New York’s health insurance marketplace is critically important during an ongoing public health emergency and during vaccination efforts.” Coverage start dates vary:

  • Enroll by February 15: Coverage starts March 1
  • Enroll March 15: Coverage starts April 1
  • Enroll by March 31: Coverage starts May 1

Those eligible for other NY State of Health programs—Medicaid, the Essential Plan, and Child Health Plus—can enroll year-round. Coverage applications are available online, by phone at (855) 355-5777, or by connecting with a free enrollment assister.