ITHACA, N.Y. –– As we continue to face the coronavirus pandemic, New York State and the Tompkins County Human Services Coalition is reminding folks to make sure their health insurance is up to date, or that they consider first-time coverage during the open enrollment period.

Open enrollment, which began Nov. 1 and is set to last through the end of January, is the time of year when you can enroll in a qualified health plan through the NYS of Health Marketplace. The Marketplace provides a platform to compare plans and sign up for a plan in one place. It is also where you can enroll into Medicaid, Essential Plan, or Child Health Plus.

To check out plans you may qualify for, check out the NY State of Health website here, or get free, one-on-one assistance through local certified navigators by call the Tompkins-Cortland helpline at 2-1-1 or 1-877- 211-8667 to schedule an appointment.

You can also schedule an appointment for yourself through the county website here.  Currently all appointments are by phone, or you can request a virtual visit.

Remember that children are almost always eligible for New York State child insurance dubbed “Child Health Plus,” even if parents are insured through their employers.

Even if you are already insured, all Tompkins residents who are currently enrolled in a Qualified Health Plan through NYSOH should renew their coverage during the open enrollment period.

Consumers already enrolled in Medicaid, Child Health Plus, or the Essential Plan will have their coverage continued automatically and do not need to renew at this time.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at