New York health experts are preparing people for the health-care coverage open-enrollment period.

Between 2010 and 2021, the number of New Yorkers without health insurance declined from almost 12% to a little more than 5%.

As people consider their coverage, Stacy Villagran chief operating officer with the Suburban Hospital Alliance of New York, said people need to be aware that Medicaid’s auto renewal ended with the public health emergency.

“For the last three years, everybody in the programs have been auto renewed because of the public health emergency,” said Villagran. “So, there are some folks that have never had to renew during the last three years, like it’s the first time they’ve been enrolled in these plans.”

She added that people need to be cognizant of any notices they receive from their local Department of Social Services or New York State of Health.

The Kaiser Family Foundation finds more than 338,000 people have been disenrolled, while around 654,000 had their coverage renewed.

But, the language of health insurance can be complex.

Dr. Rhonda Randall – chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare’s commercial operations – said people need to familiarize themselves with terms such as deductibles, coinsurance premiums, and copays.

She noted that people are starting to look for mental health coverage or if their plan covers telehealth visits.

“Many people are getting their virtual care services and their telehealth services from their local physician, which is great,” said Randall. “And then in addition to that, many plans cover 24/7 virtual care. And you might have access to a variety of things like on-demand virtual care.”

The nonprofit FAIR Health finds telehealth visits in Northeastern states such as New York have been mostly used to diagnose or address mental health issues.

An Oliver Wyman survey finds at least half of Gen Z-ers are being treated for at least one mental health issue, almost twice that of previous generations.

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