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New York Health Insurance for Small Businesses, Sole proprietors or Individuals

In the state of New York, you may qualify for low-cost health insurance if you are a small business, sole proprietor or individual.

In 2000 the NY Legislature enacted regulations in response to the Governor’s proposal to make available comprehensive insurance coverage for New York workers and their families who are uninsured. The name of the program is Healthy NY.

This program helps the small business owners (businesses with 50 or fewer employees) to provide health insurance to their employees and their families. Additionally, Workers who are unable to purchase insurance through their employer because the employer doesn’t offer insurance and the sole proprietor may purchase coverage directly through Health NY.

All HMO’s in the state of New York offer standardized health benefits package that is made affordable through the sponsorship of NY State. This makes it more affordable for small employers and uninsured employees.

There are certain eligibility requirements for each section:

Small Employer

  • Business must be located in New York
  • The business must have 50 or less eligible employees
  • 30% of employees must earn $34,000 or less
  • The business must not have provided group health insurance to employees in last 12 months (with certain stipulations)
  • 50% of eligible employee participation and at least one earns $34,000 or less
  • Employer must contribute 50% of premium
  • The employer must offer plan to employees working 20 hours or more and earning $34,000 or less

Individual and Sole Proprietor guidelines:

  • The individual must live in the state of New York
  • Must be currently employed or have been within the last 12 months
  • Employer does not provide health insurance
  • Have not health insurance for past 12 month period
  • Ineligible for Medicare
  • The annual household income must meet the Healthy NY Income Guidelines

For more information, you may contact the New York State Insurance Department, or visit their website.

About the author: Felicia A. Williams is a former insurance broker who is now a freelance writer.

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