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Campaign to Encourage Employers and Working Families to Take Advantage of This High Quality, Affordable Health Insurance Option

Superintendent Gregory V. Serio today announced the debut of the State’s new Healthy NY marketing ad campaign to encourage more New Yorkers to enroll in Healthy NY and take advantage of this high quality, affordable health insurance program.

"The new Healthy NY campaign comes at a very important time of year, open enrollment season, when New Yorkers are deciding on health insurance options for themselves and their families," said Serio. "There is no better time than now for eligible New Yorkers to enroll in Healthy NY which was designed specifically for small business owners, their employees and other uninsured workers. The media campaign will better educate and highlight the important new health insurance initiative which offers thousands of hard working uninsured families the affordable, comprehensive insurance coverage they need."

Healthy NY was established when Governor Pataki signed into law the Health Care Reform Act of 2000, which introduced the program to promote access to quality health care by providing comprehensive health insurance to working individuals. In addition to introducing the program, the Health Care Reform Act of 2000 also provided funds for outreach and marketing of Healthy NY to those in need of quality, affordable health insurance. Earlier this year, Governor Pataki announced major improvements to the program to make it even more accessible and affordable to small employers and working families, significantly reducing rates by an average of 17% and expanding eligibility guidelines so that more New Yorkers will have access to this important health insurance choice.

The new television and radio ads will be up and running statewide October 3rd. The ads will highlight the new and improved Healthy NY program and feature New Yorkers--small business owners, recent college graduates and uninsured workers--who, because of Healthy NY, would be eligible to receive health coverage. Governor Pataki, New York State’s best spokesman, appears in the ads to raise awareness of Healthy NY and encourage eligible New Yorkers to enroll in the program. The rate of uninsured New Yorkers, at 15.7 percent, is higher than the national uninsured rate of 14.6 and demonstrates the importance of raising awareness of Healthy NY.

"Approximately 40,000 New Yorkers have health insurance through Healthy NY who otherwise would be uninsured," added Serio. "As we look to sign even more New Yorkers up for the program, there is no better spokesperson than Governor Pataki to encourage New Yorkers to take advantage of Healthy NY."

After the Governor’s actions of this year, Healthy NY’s rates are now up to 50% lower than the standard individual market. Also, consumers can now choose Healthy NY with or without prescription drug benefits, which results in a more reduced cost. Changes were also made to make it easier to qualify and become enrolled in Healthy NY through broader employment standards; simplified re-certification; exemption of child support from income eligibility requirements; elimination of co-payments for well child visits; and greater choice for small employers on the level of premium contribution.

"It has been a priority of Governor Pataki to make health insurance available to small businesses and their workers, as well as the self-employed and sole proprietors who represent the true entrepreneurial spirit that America was built on and are an important driving force in our economy," added Serio. "It is our hope that even more small business owners and uninsured workers now take advantage of Healthy NY."

The Healthy NY program was established as a part of the landmark Heath Care Reform Act of 2000 as a new state-sponsored health insurance program for eligible small businesses with 50 or fewer employees, sole proprietors and eligible working uninsured individuals. The Insurance Department designed a standardized application that is accepted by all the State’s HMOs to enhance accessibility to the program. In addition, the Healthy NY Web site,, provides detailed information on eligibility criteria for small employers, individuals and sole proprietors; Healthy NY benefit package; how to apply; Healthy NY rates by county; HMOs by county; and frequently asked questions by small employers, sole proprietors and individuals.

For further information on Healthy NY visit the Web site at or call toll-free at the Healthy NY hotline--1-866-HEALTHY NY (1-866-432-5849).

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