New York State
Insurance Department


ISSUED 1/20/2004

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES INSURANCE RESOURCES FOR SERIOUSLY ILL NEW YORKERS AND THEIR CAREGIVERS
New Web Site and Dedicated Hotline Will Provide Insurance Checklists and Resources

        Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio today announced that the Department is developing a Web site, and new designated consumer toll-free hotline, dedicated to providing comprehensive, practical insurance information to New Yorkers who are seriously ill and/or are caregivers of those who are ill.

        The new web site, www.insurancehelpny.com, will provide detailed insurance information for those impacted when a serious illness strikes, including details of health insurance rights and how to exercise these rights to ensure proper access to health insurance coverage. The Department’s new hotline, 1-866-694-6743, will be staffed with consumer representatives that will answer insurance questions for seriously ill individuals and those caring for the seriously ill.

        "Consumers in New York State, now more than ever, have quality health insurance options and the power to obtain affordable coverage and determine their medical treatments, but during a time of serious illness and the related stress, it may be difficult to navigate through the insurance system. The Department is here to help and the new web site and designated consumer hotline will give you all of the information you need," said Serio. "The Web site will provide New Yorkers with one location for all of their insurance information needs during a very critical time in their lives. Unveiling these new resources at this time of year, ‘Get Smart About Insurance Week,’ serves to remind all of us to review our health insurance policies."

        The new Web site will include:

        The designated consumer representative can be reached at 1-866-694-6743 and will be available from 9am-5pm beginning the week of January 26th to New Yorkers who may have individual questions.

        In addition to the new Web site, New Yorkers are encouraged to visit the Department’s "Health Insurance Resource Center" on the Web site, www.ins.state.ny.us, where your rights as a health insurance consumer are detailed, and basic information on various types of health insurance plans is available, along with up to date information to evaluate and compare various health insurance options and companies is included. In addition, the Resource Center includes information on Medicare and long term care, sample rates for health insurance and important information on Healthy NY. The Department also offers a Consumer Guide to HMOs, a Consumer Guide to Health Insurers and an on-line Interactive Consumer Guide to HMOs.

        The New York State Insurance Department is participating in the national Get Smart About Insurance Week campaign, sponsored by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to remind New Yorkers of the importance of proper insurance coverage. For more information on Get Smart About Insurance Week, to request a consumer brochure and get information about what they need and should expect from insurance coverage, consumers can call the New York State Insurance Department’s toll-free hotline 1-800-342-3736 or visit the Department’s Web sites at is www.ins.state.ny.us. Additionally, consumers can visit www.healthyny.com for information on Healthy NY or www.captivesny.com for information on corporate self-insurance programs.


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