The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks resulted in extensive damage to the computer systems of New York City's Medicaid program. In response, city and state officials established a temporary, simplified enrollment process for public health insurance, called Disaster Relief Medicaid.
In 2001 and 2002, the United Hospital Fund of New York, a health services research and philanthropic organization, coordinated efforts to publicize the temporary program, assist in its implementation and study its policy implications.
- Between September 2001 and January 2002, more than 340,000 New Yorkers enrolled in Disaster Relief Medicaid and received immediate health coverage.
- Although many enrollees appeared to have been previously eligible for Medicaid, 73 percent had never applied.
- Only 38 percent of temporary enrollees successfully made the transition into ongoing Medicaid coverage; typically, 50 percent of Medicaid recipients re-enroll.