Participation in NY Trainers Health Insurance Program continues to increase

By: New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association

Posted: May 10, 2024

The ground-breaking New York Trainers Health Insurance Program has seen rising participation each year since being signed into law in October 2021.

Trainers who compete on the New York Racing Association circuit over the course of a calendar year are eligible to enroll in the program for the following year, provided they meet two criteria: minimum of 43 starts at NYRA tracks (Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course); and minimum of 60% of all starts must be at NYRA tracks.

Legislation was originally proposed by the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and its lobbyists in 2020, but it took several more sessions for Empire State lawmakers to recognize the advantages of such a program. In NYTHIP’s pilot season, more than 50% of eligible trainers participated in the program. The rate has steadily increased to 64% of those eligible for 2024 taking part in the plan.

“It’s gratifying to see the success of this program,” NYTHA President Tina Marie Bond said. “Our goal is to make certain that every eligible trainer considers this option. Some trainers can secure healthcare through Medicare or through a spouse, but this is a benefit we can offer members who support racing here in New York.”

The program covers the equivalent of a silver-level healthcare plan. Trainers submit their health expenditure receipts monthly and are reimbursed.

“The opportunity to have NYTHIP is much appreciated, and it is a big benefit to trainers in New York who can take advantage of the program,” trainer David Donk said. “I’m a husband and father, and health insurance is of utmost importance to me. When you’re starting a family or getting to middle age, the savings costs achieved are substantial.”

For more information about NYTHA’s Benevolence Programs, visit For details about NYTHIP, contact Abigail Klima at