Family Health Plus

The Problem
Approximately 3.2 million New Yorkers, almost one in six, lack health insurance coverage.

What is FHP?
Most uninsured New Yorkers work for a living, but cannot afford health insurance coverage. According to a study by the United Hospital Fund (UHF) nearly three-quarters of uninsured adults work for all or part of the year.

What is covered?
The rate of uninsurance is highest among low and middle-income workers. The UHF study reports that 42 percent of the uninsured have incomes between 100 and 300 percent of the federal poverty level and 41 percent have incomes below the poverty level.

What is FHP? What needs to be done to improve FHP?
New York State has a new health insurance program for adults who either have no health insurance or are unable to purchase health insurance due to costly premiums. Family Health Plus is modeled after the successful Child Health Plus program that offers affordable comprehensive insurance to the children and teenagers of our state.

What is covered?
Just like Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus coverage includes dental, vision, inpatient and outpatient mental health services, and prescription services in addition to routine preventative and emergency medical care.

Who is eligible?

Family Size Annual Income (Gross)
Jan 2001 Jan 2002 Oct 2001 Oct 2002
1 $8,350
2 $11,250 $13,500 $14,963 $16,875
3 $16,980 $18,820 $21,225
4 $20,460 $22,677 $25,575
4 $23,940 $26,534 $29,925

Coverage for childless adults depends on New York State receiving a federal waiver from the Health Care Financing Administration. A waiver that no other state has ever received

Family Health Plus
(current plan)
Family Health Plus
(improved plan)
Health care insurance coverage for 600,000 NYS adults. Health care insurance for the 3.2 million uninsured NYS adults.
Coverage begins for a limited few January 2001. Most people will have to wait until October 2002. Coverage for everyone eligible effective January 2001.
FHP income eligibility is far below that of Child Health Plus. Eligibility for adults with children is only at 150% poverty level. * Same income limits as Child Health Plus (250% poverty level*)
Adults without children are limited to incomes of 100% poverty level. * All adults should have the same income limits whether or not they have children.
Adults without children will only be covered if federal waiver is granted. Coverage for all adults, whether or not they have kids

* –Poverty level determined yearly by federal guidelines. 2000 guidelines have determined 100% poverty level for a single adult at $8,350. 150% poverty level for a family of four is $25,575. 250% poverty level for a family of four is $42,625.

What needs to be done to improve FHP?

Sounds great! Right?
Well…It’s only the first step.
Actually, Family Health Plus will only cover 600,000 of the 3.2 million uninsured or underinsured adults of New York State. This program doesn’t begin covering anyone until October 1, 2001. Also, because of the eligibility phase-in, most of these people will not be covered until October 1, 2002! The income limits are too restrictive…If you work full-time at minimum wage; you make too much to qualify for Family Health Plus!

  • · Expedite coverage for everyone eligible by January 2001 (150% poverty)
  • · Assure coverage for childless adults and legal immigrants
  • · Increase income eligibility to match Child Health Plus (250% poverty)

What can I do?

  • Call your State Assembly Member and Senator to thank them for their support and hard work passing Family Health Plus. Let them know that although this program is a good beginning—we need them to take the next steps to improve Family Health Plus and leave no
  • one behind.
  • Write a letter to the editor of Newsday, or your local paper, about health care coverage concerns and include the notion of expanding Family Health Plus.
  • Join Long Island Progressive Coalition’s Health Care Action Committee by calling 516-541-1006 x16 or emailing You can make your voice heard through advocacy for affordable health care for all New Yorkers!
  • We need to show the Governor and the Legislature that the health care system isn’t working for millions of New Yorkers. The best way to do that is to hear the stories of people who can’t afford health care. Click here to share your story.