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Governor George E. Pataki today announced that Healthy NY, the reduced-cost health insurance program that makes health care coverage available to small businesses, sole proprietors and other working individuals, experienced a 93 percent increase in enrollment this year compared to 2003. The dramatic increase in Healthy NY's membership was among the major findings in the 2004 Report on Healthy NY, commissioned by the New York State Insurance Department.

"Healthy NY has become a national model for states seeking an innovative way to provide affordable health insurance coverage to those who need it most," Governor Pataki said. "We are proud that 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, and these latest figures prove that we are now reaching more people than ever."

Since its inception in 2001, more than 123,000 New Yorkers have taken part in the Healthy NY program. As of December 1, 2004, current enrollment stood at 76,704, an increase of 93 percent over the year-end figures for 2003.

Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio said, "Governor Pataki's Healthy NY initiative is showing extraordinary growth while providing comprehensive health insurance at reduced cost to thousands of New Yorkers."

The dramatic increase in Healthy NY's membership was among the major findings in the 2004 Report on Healthy NY. Some of the report's other key findings include:

  • The distribution of enrolled members remained constant this year as compared to 2003, with 58 percent coming from the ranks of the working uninsured. Twenty-three percent are from small businesses with less than 50 employees and 19 percent of Healthy NY's total enrollees are sole proprietors.
  • More than four out of every five Healthy NY enrollees in 2004 (84 percent) paid premiums that were well below rates in the direct-pay market.
  • 94 percent of Healthy NY enrollees who responded to a survey administered by an independent firm in 2004 said that they were either "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with the program.

Governor Pataki and the State Legislature created the Healthy NY program in 2000. By targeting uninsured workers who don't qualify for Medicaid or other public programs, sole proprietors, and small businesses, Healthy NY provides a critical safety net to the working uninsured. Healthy NY is more affordable than other health insurance because of its benefit design and because the State bears some of the costs.

All 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 benefit packages that come either with a limited prescription benefit or without one. A copy of the 2004 Report on Healthy NY is available on-line at The web site is also source of extensive information on the program, which can also be received by calling 1-866-HEALTHY NY (1-866-432-5849).

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