New Yorkers will have a new, streamlined option to get their basic health needs met starting this summer.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation revealed Tuesday they will launch NYC Care in the Bronx on Aug. 1. The program will provide eligible, uninsured NYC residents with access to primary health physicians, guaranteed preventive care and other health services at public hospital facilities.
The mayor said the program, which will roll out to all five boroughs by the end of 2020, was part of his initiative to direct an estimated 300,000 uninsured New Yorkers to preventive health care options.
"Access to quality and affordable health care is one of the biggest burdens working people face. Now they won’t face it alone," de Blasio said in a statement.
NYC Care is open to uninsured New Yorkers who have lived in the city for at least six months. The city expects 10,000 New Yorkers to enroll within the first six months when the program launches in the Bronx in August.
Services will be provided exclusively at HHC facilities. The program guarantees a primary care physician visit within the first two weeks of choosing a doctor. It also will provide members with 24/7 access to medications at HHC’s Bronx hospitals — Jacobi, Lincoln and North-Central Bronx.
De Blasio emphasized that NYC Care, which the city expects to cost $100 million annually, is not a health insurance program.
"Health insurance is the middle person. This is cutting out the middle person to get you to health care," the mayor explained.
New Yorkers who are enrolled in the program will receive a card with information on their primary care doctor and a hotline for any questions. The card also will be printed with their specific copays and sliding scale fees, which will be determined after the application process, according to Dr. Mitchell Katz, president and CEO of HHC.
The program will not have any income restrictions or monthly premiums, Katz said.
More details about signing up for NYC Care will be available in the future, according to the city.