New York State
Insurance Department


ISSUED: 10/10/2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 NEW INTERACTIVE CONSUMER HEALTH INSURANCE WEB SITE
Easily Accessible Assistance in Choosing & Comparing HMOs

          Superintendent Gregory V. Serio today announced the 2002 interactive, on-line version of the Consumer Guide to HMOs. The site was first introduced last year and now contains the latest information on health insurance programs and allows consumers to compare all HMOs on-line. The Web site is www.nyshmoguide.org. The interactive guide is also available through the Department’s Web site, www.ins.state.ny.us.

           "Open enrollment season is a crucial time when many consumers are weighing their choices. We are extremely pleased to be again offering New Yorker’s new tools to assist in this very important decision," said Serio. "Open enrollment is the time of year when many New Yorkers have an opportunity to switch health plans for the upcoming year. The new Web site can act as a significant resource as New Yorkers make health insurance decisions for themselves and their families."

          The interactive guide allows consumers to easily compare performance and price information for HMOs operating in the county they live in or to compare all HMOs within New York State. In addition, the guide will help consumers choose an HMO, show how HMOs work, and introduce special health insurance programs

          "This Web site is an essential tool for consumers because it highlights information about New York’s health insurers in a standard and easy-to-understand format," added Serio. "This is just another example of how the Department is instituting technological advances to effectively and efficiently serve the needs of New York’s insurance consumers."

          The guide includes information from both the New York State Insurance Department and the New York State Health Department, and was prepared in conjunction with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a private, non-for-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. The new Web site will complement the consumer information already offered through the Consumer Guide to Health Insurance, the Consumer Guide to HMO’s, the Insurance Department’s Web site @ www.ins.state.ny.us and the consumer hotline, 1-800-342-3736.


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