STATE OF NEW YORK

EXECUTIVE CHAMBER

GEORGE E. PATAKI, GOVERNOR


Press Office
518-474-8418
212-681-4640
http://www.state.ny.us

FOR RELEASE:
IMMEDIATE, Friday
August 27, 2004

GOVERNOR: HEALTHY NY REACHES MILESTONE WITH 100,000 ENROLLED
New Marketing Campaign to Promote Health Coverage for the Working Uninsured

        Governor George E. Pataki today announced that more than 100,000 New Yorkers have enrolled in Healthy NY, an important milestone in the State’s efforts to provide health insurance coverage to New York’s working uninsured. Healthy NY, signed into law by the Governor as part of the Health Care Reform Act of 2000, makes health care coverage available to small employers, sole proprietors and other working individuals looking to purchase health insurance.

        The Governor also announced that a new radio and television marketing campaign for Healthy NY will begin in September. The campaign is designed to attract more New Yorkers to participate and get the health insurance they and their families need.

        "All working New Yorkers deserve affordable health insurance and Healthy NY is helping people in all corners of the State get the coverage they need," Governor Pataki said. "Healthy NY is strengthening small businesses by enabling them to offer important health benefits to their employees and providing families access to quality, comprehensive health care."

        "We’re proud of our efforts to help the working families have access to quality health care and will continue our efforts to reach more people who need health coverage. I urge New Yorkers to learn more about Healthy NY, and discover how they can get quality health insurance for themselves and their families."

        Healthy NY assists uninsured small businesses in providing their employees and their employees’ families with health insurance. In addition, uninsured workers whose employers do not provide health insurance – as well as sole proprietors – can purchase comprehensive coverage directly through Healthy NY. Approximately 101,500 New Yorkers have participated in Healthy NY since it began in 2001. Healthy NY is experiencing steady growth and more than 66,000 New Yorkers are current plan enrollees.

        Superintendent Gregory V. Serio said, "More New Yorkers are finding that Healthy NY offers the exact kind of health insurance they need. Under the Governor’s leadership, we’ve taken Healthy NY and made it into a consumer-friendly health plan for small businesses and working individuals. Reaching 100,000 participants is a great milestone, and our new advertising campaign will help even more New Yorkers get the health insurance coverage they need."

        There has been nationwide growth in the number of workers without health insurance coverage, either because they cannot afford it, or because their employers have been unable to provide it. Currently, the majority of Americans without health insurance coverage are actively employed, primarily by small businesses unable to purchase health insurance coverage on their behalf.

        In 2000, Governor Pataki and New York State broke new ground by developing Healthy NY. By targeting uninsured small businesses, sole proprietors and workers who earn too much to qualify for the Medicaid or more traditional public programs, Healthy NY provides a critical safety net to those New Yorkers most in need. Healthy NY is more affordable than other health insurance because of its benefit design and because the State shares some claims costs with New York’s HMOs. In addition, Healthy NY operates at little cost to the State per enrollee and at no cost to local governments.

        All Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) in New York offer Healthy NY, which includes health benefits such as inpatient and outpatient hospital services, physician services, maternity care, preventive health services, diagnostic and x-ray services, and emergency services. Applicants can choose between a benefit package with a limited prescription benefit and a benefit package without a prescription drug benefit. Additional information is available at www.healthyny.com, or by calling 1-866-HEALTHY NY (1-866-432-5849).


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