NYC Care Connects Members To Primary Care During National Primary Care Week

October 4, 2023

In recognition of National Primary Care Week, NYC Health + Hospitals’ NYC Care program and the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit (PEU) have partnered to ensure NYC Care members citywide are connected to primary care.

NYC Care is a healthcare access program that provides comprehensive and low or no-cost healthcare services through NYC Health + Hospitals for New Yorkers who cannot afford or are ineligible for health insurance. The effort reminds NYC Care members of the importance of primary care, how to schedule a primary care appointment with NYC Health + Hospitals, and how to use the MyChart app to manage health benefits.

Thanks to Mayor Adams’ leadership, the GetCoveredNYC team will reach out to approximately 30,000 NYC Care members who have not scheduled their first primary care appointment to answer frequently asked questions about the program, speak to the benefits of primary care, and connect them with a specialist from NYC Care’s 24/7 hotline to complete the process of connecting them with a primary care provider. The outreach team can speak with members in English, Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, and French, and connect members who speak other languages to the NYC Care hotline, which provides interpretation in over two hundred languages.

The partnership between GetCoveredNYC and NYC Care is part of the Mayor’s larger agenda to support a healthier New York City, including sweeping investments in mental health supports for New Yorkers of all ages, lifestyle medicine training for clinicians across the city, and new programs to bolster access to reproductive health care.


NYC Care plays an important role in helping tens of thousands of New Yorkers access health care,” said Anne Williams-Isom, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. “We encourage every person covered by the program to connect with a primary care provider to schedule a routine check-up today.  Thank you to the teams at NYC Health + Hospitals and at the Public Engagement Unit for collaborating to connect with NYC Care enrollees to encourage them to access routine care services.”

“NYC Care offers critical services to New Yorkers, from primary and specialty care to low-cost prescription medications available day or night,” said Jonathan Jiménez, MD, MPH, Executive Director of NYC Care from NYC Health + Hospitals. “Thanks to our collaboration with our partner, the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit, we can ensure our members continue to take advantage of the services they are entitled to, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. Primary care is the cornerstone of living your healthiest life, and we want every New Yorker to have their primary care doctor. If you are a new member or have not yet enrolled in the program, please call 646-692-2273 or visit NYCCare.NYC to make your first primary care appointment. If you’re new to NYC Health + Hospitals, we will offer you an appointment within two weeks!”

“It’s not only complicated to enroll in health care programs; many New Yorkers are also struggling to navigate how to utilize their coverage. If New Yorkers aren’t utilizing the coverage their plans provide, then they are not accessing the preventive health services they need to thrive,” said the Public Engagement Unit’s Executive Director, Adrienne Lever. “GetCoveredNYC is committed to connecting New Yorkers to both health coverage and care, and partnerships like this with NYC Care allow us to close gaps in health care access. Together, we’re ensuring that New Yorkers with NYC Care know about their primary care options and utilize them.”


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“An essential part of public health, and to all New Yorkers living healthier, longer lives, is ensuring people have access to high-quality primary health care,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “Bringing the skills of all parts of government together to help New Yorkers navigate the process of connecting with a provider is a game-changer. Too often access is the missing key and this important effort can open the door for thousands of city residents.”

“Thanks to the partnership between NYC Care and the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit, more New Yorkers than ever who may not have visited a doctor in years can now access primary care and lead healthier lives,” said Manuel Castro, Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “I am proud to live in a city that guarantees health care for all, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay, and I encourage both NYC Care members and non-members alike to visit NYCCare.NYC to learn more about the program and schedule a primary care appointment.”

“Our immigrant community depends on the care of so many, and NYC Care was created in partnership with our local government leadership, NYC Health + Hospitals, and many community-based organizations. Our partnership has helped thousands of immigrants access healthcare, and for that we all are better,” said Jairo Guzmán, President of Mexican Coalition.

“The Center for the Integration and Advancement of New Americans, Inc. (CIANA), is delighted that NYC Care is partnering with the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit in a concerted effort to contact New Yorkers who may not have visited a primary care doctor to encourage them to schedule an appointment. CIANA is proud that NYC Care guarantees health care for all, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay, and we want to encourage all New Yorkers, particularly newly arrived immigrants without access to health care, to avail themselves of this opportunity to schedule and engage with a primary care doctor,” said Emira Habiby Browne, Founder and CEO of the Center for the Integration and Advancement of New Americans.

In the last year, NYC Care and GetCoveredNYC have collaborated on a number of health fairs, virtual webinars, and a health care week of action, to promote health care access and address health inequities citywide. Thanks in part to inter-agency partnership and efforts like this, enrollment in NYC Care increased 5.4% from 113,178 members in Fiscal Year 2022 to 119,234 in Fiscal Year 2023, and is up 352% from its first year in 2019. By reaching out to existing members directly, the teams will ensure NYC Care continues to maintain a strong primary care engagement rate.

In June, NYC Care released findings from a study demonstrating the program’s success in connecting new members to primary and specialty care, which resulted in even higher engagement when looking at members who had two or more chronic diseases and spoke English as a second language (ESL). Overall, 76.9% of new NYC Care members returned to primary care for an additional visit in their first year, 80.7% received a referral outside of primary care, and 75.4% visited specialty care, bringing us even closer to our goal of a healthy and thriving city.

Primary care should be the first point of contact for all health care needs, and having a primary care doctor continues to be essential to a person’s overall sense of health. NYC Care ensures that members access the care that they need before they get sick or must visit an emergency room. That means having a relationship with a doctor and an entire health care team, who will get to know the patient well enough to ask the right questions and catch issues before they become serious. A primary care doctor can:

  • Diagnose and help manage chronic conditions, like asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Educated and ensure the preventive services are offered, such as routine screenings and immunizations
  • Refer to qualified specialists as needed
  • Support in reaching personal wellness goals

A primary care doctor is the first step to living the healthiest life. The NYC Care Contact Center at 1-646-NYC-CARE (1-646-692-2273) can help identify a primary care provider when enrolled.

NYC Care

NYC Care is a health care access program that provides comprehensive and low or no-cost healthcare services through NYC Health + Hospitals for New Yorkers who cannot afford or are ineligible for health insurance. NYC Care provides a membership card, 24/7 customer service, access to comprehensive and affordable healthcare services, like primary care, mental health services, and sexual and reproductive healthcare, low-cost medications, and member materials in multiple languages – regardless of your immigration status or ability to pay. Call 646-NYC-CARE (646-692-2273) or visit NYCCare.NYC to learn more and sign up today – privacy and confidentiality guaranteed.

The NYC Public Engagement Unit (PEU)

The NYC Public Engagement Unit (PEU) was created to develop a new model for government outreach, using community organizing principles to re-envision how the City provides services to its most vulnerable communities. Rather than expecting constituents to navigate a complex City bureaucracy to get the help they need, PEU adopts grassroots tactics to meet residents where they are – at their doors and on their phones, in their social media feeds and in their communities. We marry this proactive outreach with comprehensive case management to provide New Yorkers with personalized, passionate care. GetCoveredNYC is a PEU program that provides free assistance for New Yorkers seeking to enroll in health care, regardless of immigration status or income. Our Specialists speak more than 20 languages and conduct outreach to proactively identify uninsured New Yorkers and help them get access to health care and other health-related benefits.For more information, visit nyc.gov/PEU and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MayorsPEU or Twitter at @MayorsPEU.

NYC Health + Hospitals

NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation. We are a network of 11 hospitals, trauma centers, neighborhood health centers, nursing homes, and post-acute care centers. We are a home care agency and a health plan, MetroPlus. Our health system provides essential services to more than one million New Yorkers every year in more than 70 locations across the city’s five boroughs. Our diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org 

Photo credit: Harlem Hospital.

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