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News from the New York State Governor

FOR RELEASE: IMMEDIATE, Wednesday September 20, 2006


Consumer Publication Helps New Yorkers Make Informed Health Care Decisions 

Governor George E. Pataki today announced that the 2006 New York Consumer Guide to Health Insurers is now available in both hard copy and electronic versions. Updated with new editorial content for the eighth consecutive year, the publication enables New Yorkers to compare commercial and non-profit health insurers as well as health maintenance organizations (HMOs) on a variety of factors, from services offered to overall consumer satisfaction.

"Choosing a health insurer is one of the most important decisions a family makes, and New Yorkers now have more choices than ever before," Governor Pataki said. "The 2006 New York Consumer Guide to Health Insurers provides quality information about the wide range of products available, including state-supported plans like Healthy New York, allowing readers to select a health insurance plan that best fits their needs."

Under Governor Pataki, New York has been a national leader in expanding access to health insurance. The percentage of New Yorkers without health insurance dropped to 13.5 percent of the population in 2005 from 15.8 percent in 2002, according to United States Census Bureau data released in August 2006. Meanwhile, the same Census Bureau report found that the percentage of Americans without health insurance rose to 15.9 percent of all Americans in 2005 from 15.2 percent in 2002.

Programs like Child Health Plus and Family Health Plus, which are administered by the New York State Health Department, and Healthy New York, a New York State Insurance Department initiative, are all aimed at providing uninsured New Yorkers with health coverage. Child Health Plus offers comprehensive health coverage to uninsured children, and Family Health Plus does the same for lower income adults who are not eligible for Medicaid. Healthy New York is the state’s reduced cost health insurance program for the working uninsured, sole proprietors and small businesses.

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