Ask the Expert: Q&A with BJ Adigun of Excellus BCBS

How a recent change may impact upstate New Yorkers with Medicaid, Essential Plan or Child Health Plus

BJ Adigun

If you or a family member are one of the more than 1.3 million* upstate New Yorkers with Medicaid, Essential Plan or Child Health Plus, you may have questions about a renewal that could impact your health insurance coverage.

We want to help everyone continue to access affordable health care. BJ Adigun of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield answers questions on what you can do to remain insured. Adigun is director of Safety Net Community Partnerships and Engagement.

Q. Tell me more about this change to Medicaid, Essential Plan and Child Health Plus
If you have Medicaid, Essential Plan or Child Health Plus, you may have to renew your coverage for the first time since early 2020. New rules required states to restart these renewals in the Spring of 2023

When the state renews your plan, they’ll check to see if you’re still eligible for coverage. Whether or not you qualify for these free or low-cost plans is based on your income, household size, and other criteria. Medicaid, Essential Plan and Child Health Plus are New York state sponsored health plans that you can receive through an insurer such as Excellus BCBS.

Q. What happens if I’m no longer eligible for my current health insurance coverage?
If your income has changed, for example, and you’re no longer eligible for your current health insurance coverage, you may qualify for other coverage options. Information on how to get help to find new coverage is listed below.

Q. What are my options if I’m no longer eligible for my current coverage?
If you find out you no longer qualify for Medicaid, Essential Plan or Child Health Plus, there are coverage options that may meet your needs:

  • Coverage through your employer, if applicable
  • Medicare coverage, if you meet certain qualifications, such as being age 65 or older
  • Other types of free or low-cost plans available directly from a health insurer or from NY State of Health, the state’s health insurance marketplace.

Q. What will my renewal look like?
When it’s time for you to renew your plan, you’ll receive a notice from the state telling you what to do. Follow the steps to renew. The renewal letters are being sent on a rolling monthly basis and started in April.

Q: How do I prepare for the renewal of my coverage?
Watch for a renewal letter from NY State of Health or the county. Check if NY State of Health and/or your local county Medicaid office has your current mailing address and contact information.

Q. I need help. What are my options?
Our main priority is to make sure you keep health insurance coverage, either by staying in your current plan or by moving to another plan that meets your needs. Please know that help is available, if needed:

*More than 1.3 million individuals in the 39 counties of upstate New York have Medicaid, Essential Plan or Child Health Plus, according to 2022 year-end data from the New York State Department of Health.

Joy Auch, (585) 238-4374

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members. The company's mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With more than 4,000 employees, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It also encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. To learn more, visit


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