How to Apply for Insurance

Catholic Health Insurance Specialists

As part of the financial assistance process, our team of New York State Certified Application Counselors are available to assist you in finding insurance plans that are right for you and/or your family.

Our counselors can assess your eligibility for health insurance coverage through federal or state programs. If it is determined that you are eligible for one of these programs, we will gladly assist you with the application process.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a counselor, please call our Patient Financial Services Team at (716) 601-3600.

Special Enrollment Period for Uninsured New Yorkers

NY State of Health and the New York State Department of Financial Services recently announced a Special Enrollment Period available to New Yorkers during which eligible individuals will be able to enroll in insurance coverage through NY State of Health, New York’s official health plan Marketplace, and directly through insurers.

This step is being taken in light of the COVID-19 public health emergency to further protect the public health of New Yorkers.

What You Need to Know

  • Individuals who enroll in Qualified Health Plans through NY State of Health or directly through insurers between March 16 and April 15, 2020 will have coverage effective starting April 1, 2020.
  • During this Special Enrollment Period, NYS is allowing applications to be completed on the phone with an application counselor instead of in person.
  • Those eligible for other NY State of Health programs (Medicaid, Essential Plan and Child Health Plus) can enroll year-round.

To have one of our application counselors assist you with your phone application or to answer questions regarding your eligibility to re-apply, please call us at (716) 601-3600 and select "option 2."

Shop for Insurance

Using the health plan marketplace, residents of New York State can compare and shop for insurance plans during open enrollment.

If open enrollment has passed, you may qualify for a special enrollment period, such as if you have married or become pregnant.

Click here for more information.

Enroll in a Government Program


Medicaid is a program for New York State residents who cannot afford to pay for medical care. People may be covered by Medicaid if they have high medical bills, receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or if they meet certain income, resource, age or disability requirements.

For more information, contact your county’s Department of Social Services.

Enroll at One of Our Primary Care Centers

If you are a patient at a Catholic Health primary care center listed below, our Medicaid advocates will assist you in submitting your application. We ask that our patients apply for Medicaid with us, as we are able to track the status of your application and obtain emergency medication, if needed.

When you come in for your first appointment, our advocate will walk you through the application process, from beginning to end. Once the application is complete, the advocate will deliver the application in downtown Buffalo for you.

This service is available at:

For patients of Springville OB/GYN Center: if you are eligible for Medicare, we will refer you to our Medicare advocate at the Mercy OB/GYN Center to complete your application. 

Child Health Plus (Fidelis)

Child Health Plus is a health insurance plan for children under the age of 19. Children must be residents of New York State. There are two programs: Child Health Plus A or Child Health Plus B. Family income will determine which program a child may qualify for.

Children who are not eligible for Child Health Plus A can enroll in Child Health Plus B if they do not already have health insurance and are not eligible for coverage under the public employees’ state health benefits plan. For more information call (800) 698-4543.


Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) is a New York State-sponsored prescription plan for senior citizens who need help paying for their prescriptions.

New York State residents can join EPIC if they are 65 or older and meet income requirements.

EPIC members will be required to pay fees, deductibles, or co-payments. Seniors who receive full Medicaid benefits or have other prescription coverage that is better than EPIC are not eligible. EPIC will not pay for medication dispensed by a Catholic Health pharmacy.

For an application, call (800) 332-3742.

Apply for WIC

WIC (Women, Infants, Children) Program

The WIC program offers food and breastfeeding support to women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or have children up to the age of five.

Eligibility for WIC is based on your yearly income. Click here to find out if you qualify.

If you would like to apply for the WIC program, you can do so at the following centers: