New York State
Insurance Department


ISSUED: 12/28/2000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SUPERINTENDENT LEVIN ANNOUNCES HEALTHY NY START
Increased Access to Health Care Coverage for New York’s
Small Businesses and Working Families

             Superintendent Neil D. Levin today announced the launching of the State’s new Healthy NY program to give working families access to affordable health insurance coverage. Healthy NY was established as a part of the Heath Care Reform Act of 2000 (HCRA 2000) making affordable health insurance benefits accessible to up to one million New Yorkers.

            "During the past six years, New York State has become a better place to do business, especially for small companies. Governor Pataki has cut taxes, reduced workers’ compensation costs and provided incentives to New York’s employers-- the men and women with the energy and vision to turn ideas and dreams into businesses that create jobs. Small businesses play a key role in New York State's economic strength, employing more than 3.6 million New Yorkers and making an immense contribution to the State’s growing economy," said Levin. "The Healthy NY program puts quality health insurance coverage within the reach of hundreds-of-thousands of small business owners and uninsured workers."

            The new program makes affordable health insurance benefits accessible for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers by providing access to insurance coverage to eligible small businesses for their employees. The same standard benefits package will be available to eligible working uninsured individuals and their families. The comprehensive health insurance benefits package will be available through all New York State HMOs and other insurers approved by the State Insurance Department.

            "The United Hospital Fund reports that nearly ninety percent of all uninsured workers in New York State were employed in firms that either did not offer health insurance benefits or were ineligible for their employer’s insurance coverage," said Levin. "The Healthy NY program will give hundreds-of-thousands of New York's hard working uninsured families the affordable, comprehensive insurance coverage they need."

            The Healthy NY package has three key components;

            "Small businesses and their workers, as well as the self-employed and sole proprietors are the driving force in our economy--creating jobs, growing our economy and serving as the springboard for New York’s high-tech growth in the 21st century. Healthy NY helps by making health insurance more affordable and by helping New York enterprises maintain their competitiveness," said Levin. "But, most of all, Healthy NY helps New York families by giving them a vital opportunity for health care coverage."

            New York State will initiate a multi-million dollar outreach and marketing plan to raise public awareness and rapidly enroll New Yorkers in this innovative program. For further information on the Healthy New York Program visit the Insurance Department's website at www.ins.state.ny.us. or call us toll-free at the Healthy NY hotline--1-866-HEALTHY NY (432-5849).


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