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November 13, 2014

Hospitals Help Patients Navigate Health Insurance Sign-Ups

Over 5,000 Families Now Insured Through Assistance at Hospitals;
Another 4,400 Families Enrolled with Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council

ALBANY, N.Y. - Hospitals have helped thousands of New Yorkers get health insurance, and are poised to assist even more as New York’s health insurance exchange reopens this week.

When New York State launched the New York State of Health exchange last year, hospitals and health systems served as a critical community resource for the uninsured to learn about their options and apply for health insurance.

One-third of the state’s newly insured completed their applications with the assistance of navigators and Certified Application Counselors who are specially trained to guide consumers through the process from eligibility requirements to weighing options and finalizing the paperwork.

The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) trained more than 600 Certified Application Counselors to enroll patients in commercial coverage, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program through the New York State of Health insurance exchange marketplace.

“Choosing health insurance can be very confusing and overwhelming for consumers,” said Dennis Whalen, President of HANYS. “New York’s hospitals have been connecting the uninsured with coverage options for years. The New York State of Health navigator and counselor programs have enabled hospitals to provide thousands more New Yorkers with professional, in-person assistance in their communities right where they receive care.”

Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, chosen by New York State as a navigator agency on Long Island, helped another 4,400 individuals and families get insured. Navigators held open houses and office hours in hospitals and throughout the community to assist families with the application process. Since the Council has served as a Medicaid and Child Health Plus navigator in the Facilitated Enrollment program since 2000, staff were also able to assist people with other insurance issues, such as coverage questions and difficulties with using insurance.


Melissa Mansfield
Manager, Public and Media Relations
(518) 431-7770

The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) is the only statewide hospital and continuing care association in New York State, representing 500 non-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, and other health care organizations.