New York State
Insurance Department


April 19, 1999

INSURANCE DEPARTMENT PUBLISHES 1999 HMO CONSUMER’S GUIDE

In an effort to assist consumers purchasing individual health insurance coverage, Superintendent of Insurance Neil D. Levin today released the Insurance Department’s 1999 Consumer's Guide for Standard Individual HMOs and Point of Service Coverage for New York State.

The comprehensive guide is designed to assist consumers who are shopping for health care coverage. It highlights the benefits the contracts cover, explains the difference between the standard contract and point of service options, explains pre-existing limitations and lists HMOs names and phone numbers by area so that consumers can quickly find coverage that fits their needs.

"As consumers’ reliance on managed care grows in the State of New York, it is vital that individuals have access to quality information about HMOs," Levin said. "Our consumer guide gives people the information they need to make more informed choices about their healthcare."

The Department also offers consumers shopping guides to automobile insurance, life insurance, homeowners and tenants insurance, medigap insurance and long term care insurance. Publications are free and can be obtained by calling 1-800-342-3736 or visiting the Department’s website at www.ins.state.ny.us. The Department’s website also contains health insurance and automobile insurance resource centers, which contain premium rate comparisons, complaint rankings of insurers, summaries of important laws, and other invaluable information.

The Department’s Consumer Services Bureau investigated more than 60,000 complaints last year from consumers and providers. The Bureau also responded to approximately 500,000 telephone inquiries for information. The Bureau provides assistance to consumers who are having a problem obtaining satisfaction from their insurance company or agent or broker as well as provides general insurance information.

Consumers can obtain a copy of the new guide and a schedule of premiums for each HMO for the two options by calling the Department’s toll-free telephone number 1-800-342-3736 or by visiting the Department’s Website: www.ins.state.ny.us. The Department can also assist consumers through its TDD for the hearing impaired at 1-800-220-9250 and through its multi-lingual line at 1-800-218-8222 which provides for translations regardless of the native language involved.


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