Law approved to expand medical services to uninsured people

The city council approved a law Thursday that will expand the medical services the city offers to those who are uninsured and / or unable to pay for medical care – including unauthorized immigrants.

“LAST MINUTE: @NYCCouncil just passed our bill to expand regular preventive health care to uninsured New Yorkers,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced on social media.

“We have seen how useful preventive care can be during this pandemic, and now it will be even more accessible thanks to Int. 1668-A,” he added.

Lower Manhattan Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, also spoke about the passage of the legislation.

“HEALTHCARE WIN: We just passed groundbreaking legislation to create a primary care patient and service navigation program to better connect uninsured New Yorkers with health care. Proud to be a co-sponsor + expanding access to care centered on the community throughout the city, “Rivera wrote.

The law focuses on preventive medical services, which are often essential so that a person does not develop any disease or can be cared for even before they become ill.

There are already services in the city for the uninsured – including unauthorized immigrants – but care was limited in terms of these preventive medical services. What the law has done is to bring together the services of the city with services of the federal government under a single “umbrella” of clinics that will provide the services in person or under the so-called (virtual) telemedicine.

Councilmember Mark Levine, chairman of the council’s Health Committee, also welcomed the new law.

“It’s official: Our @NYCCouncil bill, Intro 1668, just passed 39-0. It will greatly expand access to community health care for undocumented and uninsured New Yorkers,” Levine wrote.

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