Apply for Public Healthcare Programs in New York State

If you want to apply for one of the public healthcare programs in New York State, you can apply online or by phone.


You can apply on New York State’s health marketplace, NY State of Health using your ID (this is the same ID that you use to certify for your unemployment benefits online.) Your application will be used to determine if you qualify for all three public health programs: Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (“CHIP”) or the New York State Essential Plan.

By phone: 

You can apply by phone directly with NY State, with the assistance of MetroPlus (for NYC residents only), with the assistance of Empire BlueCross BlueShield (non-NYC residents) or with the assistance of local community programs.

  • Sign up directly with NY State: Call 1-855-355-5777, Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 8 PM, and Saturdays, 9 AM - 1 PM.
  • MetroPlus and Empire BlueCross BlueShield: These insurance providers have set up phone lines for all of our members to apply and enroll for healthcare. Depending on your needs and specific situation, MetroPlus and Empire BlueCross BlueShield will assist enrollment in the right plan for you, whether that is a public plan or a separate private plan. One advantage to signing up through one of these providers is if you are not eligible to enroll in any of the public programs, the providers will help you sign up for one of their own Qualified Health plans.
    • To contact MetroPlus (NYC residents only) about your coverage options, call: 855-809-4073 anytime between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday through Friday.
    • To contact Empire BlueCross BlueShield (non-NYC residents) about your coverage options, call: 888-809-8009 followed by pressing option 4. This devoted line is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. When calling please mention the “Hotel Trades Council.”
  • Community programs: Some local programs will assist you with applying and enrolling in public health care programs. Find a list of these programs here. Call a program for dates and times that enrollment assistance is available.