New York State
Insurance Department


ISSUED: 10/5/2001

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES JOINT INITIATIVE WITH INDUSTRY ON
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIMS

Ensures that Medical Providers Receive Prompt Payment for Care Rendered to Workers’ Compensation Claimants

           Superintendent Gregory V. Serio today announced a new procedure to ensure that victims of the September 11 World Trade Center disaster have seamless coverage and that providers of necessary medical treatment are paid promptly. Seven major health insurers will pay all providers’ bills incurred in treating work-related injuries of policyholders. Each insurer will subsequently work with the appropriate workers’ compensation carrier to allocate payments.

            "The Department is committed to assisting all New York families affected by this tragic event and we will continue to do everything we can to prevent additional hardships on those who were impacted," said Serio. "The outpouring of assistance from the State, City, and the public and private sectors has been inspiring. We applaud New York’s health plans for stepping in and offering to suspend the contractual workers’ compensation exclusion in order to ensure that providers are paid for all health services in a timely manner."

            "In the wake of the World Trade Center tragedy, the New York Health Plan Association (HPA) and its member plans have made member access to uninterrupted coverage their highest priority," said Paul F. Macielak, HPA president & CEO.  "HPA also appreciates the spirit of cooperation pledged by all insurance carriers, health care providers and all other parties to work together to ensure that ongoing needs of victims and all those affected by this tragedy remain the focal point of everyone’s efforts."

            Aetna U.S. Healthcare, CIGNA HealthCare, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, GHI, Horizon Healthcare, HIP and Oxford are the seven participating insurers. Additional health care plans have also indicated their willingness to be flexible in ensuring uninterrupted health care coverage for all workers impacted by the tragedy. The workers’ compensation carriers will reimburse the health insurers at a later date.

 


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