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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, Thursday
March 11, 2004

GOVERNOR: NEW WEB SITE IS ONE-STOP INFORMATION CENTER FOR CAREGIVERS

Website & Hotline Offer Important Health Insurance Information to Patients and Caregivers

Governor George E. Pataki today announced a new Web site, www.insurancehelpny.com, designed as a "one-stop-insurance information center" for the seriously ill and their caregivers, providing important information on health insurance rights and how to exercise these rights to ensure proper access to health insurance coverage.

"We have worked to make New York’s health care system one of the best in the nation and this new resource will help ensure that New Yorkers with a serious illness and their caregivers can take full advantage of the resources that are available to them and that they fully understand their health care rights," Governor Pataki said. "Today's announcement combined with previous actions we've taken to protect New Yorkers' health care rights -- such as implementing the Managed Care Bill of Rights – marks another step in our efforts to meet the changing needs of health insurance consumers."

Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio said, "When a serious illness strikes a family, quick and reliable access to insurance information is an essential element. The new web site and hotline offer valuable guidance to assist New Yorkers through the many insurance matters they may face. The Governor is committed to ensuring proper access to health insurance coverage and the Web site and hotline go a long way to help New Yorkers find the insurance answers they need during a stressful time."

The new Web site provides detailed insurance information for those impacted when a serious illness strikes. In addition, earlier this year, the Insurance Department unveiled a toll-free hotline, 1-866-NYINSHELP (1-866-694-6743), which is staffed with consumer representatives, from 9a.m. to 5p.m., who answer insurance questions specific to individuals who are seriously ill and/or their caregivers.

The user-friendly Web site, www.insurancehelpny.com, identifies matters that consumers should address when a serious illness occurs, as well as a series of issues and responsibilities of both the individual and the insurance company. Information on the web site includes:

  • A checklist of questions individuals should ask their insurer and physician;
  • Information on prescription drug options and other important health resources for coverage;
  • Information on individuals' rights as a health insurance consumer in New York State and more specifically their rights if they are denied coverage;
  • A list of important documents to have at doctor visits, hospital stays and for calls to the insurance company;
  • Information on experimental and medically necessary procedures, explanation of benefits, external appeal, the health care proxy form, usual and customary allowances and long term care; and
  • A glossary of insurance terms.

In addition to the new Web site, New Yorkers are encouraged to visit the Insurance Department's on-line "Health Insurance Resource Center," located at www.ins.state.ny.us. The site outlines health insurance consumer rights 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.

 

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