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Press Release: New York State Department of Health Announces NY State of Health Partnership with CVS/Pharmacy for Grassroots Outreach Campaign Encouraging All New Yorkers to Get Health Insurance

Dec 9, 2014

Over 70 NYSOH free informational events scheduled at CVS/pharmacy stores Statewide

Albany, N.Y (December 9, 2014)  – The New York State Department of Health today announced that NY State of Health (NYSOH) and CVS/pharmacy have partnered to educate and promote the many health insurance options available to New Yorkers through the NYSOH Marketplace, as part of the multi-pronged outreach campaign.

“We are proud to partner with CVS/Pharmacy to educate people about the benefits of enrolling for health insurance coverage through the NY State of Health Marketplace,” said acting New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “By reaching people right in their own backyard and communicating with them on a one on one basis, we can be sure to continue enrolling people at a rate that will far surpass our goal of 1.1 million people by 2016."

"Connecting our customers with informative and accessible resources about the health insurance options in their community aligns with our purpose of helping people on their path to better health, so we are very pleased to partner with NYSOH to help our New York customers find an insurance plan that fits their needs," said Helena Foulkes, President of CVS/pharmacy.

Beginning December 9, CVS/pharmacy will host more than 70 events at 36 store locations across New York State. The locations were strategically selected based on the highest concentration of households eligible for financial help.

“New York State of Health is delving deeper into our communities to reach New Yorkers in their daily activities and encouraging them to get coverage as the first step toward a healthier life,” said NYSOH Executive Director Donna Frescatore. “Partnering with CVS as a leader in the healthcare arena is a natural way to introduce healthcare coverage options to people in a supportive, familiar environment that plays a prominent role in their everyday lives.”

Community members are invited to come to these CVS/pharmacy locations and learn how the marketplace works, check their eligibility for cost reductions, explore their health plan options, and schedule an appointment to enroll with an in person assistor.  Dozens of Ambassadors for Coverage will staff NYSOH Marketplace informational tables to distribute information and answer questions regarding enrolling or re-enrolling in a health plan through the Marketplace.  The CVS NYSOH marketplace events can be found at http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/events.                               

Empire Justice Center’s Ambassadors for Coverage Program, through the support of the NYS Health Foundation, has committed hundreds of its volunteers in a variety of events and locations during the three month enrollment period to assist in dispersing information regarding the marketplace.

“We are proud to work with the New York State Health Foundation on the Ambassadors for Coverage program and partner with NYSOH in a new initiative with CVS Pharmacy,” said Anne Erickson, President and CEO of the Empire Justice Center.  “These events – over 70 across NYS – will allow the Ambassadors to connect with even more hard-to-reach consumers and ensure they receive accurate information about health insurance through the New York State of Health Marketplace.”

NYSOH is also launching several other grassroots campaigns to make its plans more accessible to the public, many with one–on-one settings to make it easier for people to understand their options and enroll.

This year, extra efforts have been extended to reach the Spanish speaking population, just second behind English in New York State. All NYSOH informational materials, including the entire website and educational videos, are available in Spanish.  Additionally, select informational materials are also now available in ten new languages including Arabic, Bengali, Hindi, Japanese, Nepali, Polish, Twi, Urdu, Vietnamese, and Yiddish.  Materials also continue to be available in English, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Italian, Korean, Russian as well as Spanish.

CVS Health has also launched a robust educational effort to increase its customers' understanding of available insurance options during the Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period.  CVS Health is partnering with numerous health insurers offering coverage on the Marketplace to conduct health insurance education events in CVS/pharmacy stores. The outreach campaign will also involve in-store brochure displays and online insurance information and tools at CVS.com/insurance.

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About the NY State of Health Marketplace

New York opened its Health Plan marketplace, NY State of Health, on October 2013. The Marketplace’s one stop health insurance shopping experience offers high quality comprehensive plans for consumers to choose from. NY State of Health is the only place where consumers can qualify to get help paying for coverage through premium discounts or tax credits. Consumers must enroll in a plan by the 15th of the month to start coverage on the first of the following month. New Yorkers who enroll on or before December 15 will begin coverage on January 1, 2015. The NY State of Health Small Business Marketplace for employers with 50 or fewer employees is open to enrollment throughout the year.  New Yorkers can also enroll in public health insurance programs through the Marketplace all year.  For more information about the New York State of Health exchange, please visit https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/ or call Customer Service at 1-855-355-5777.            

About CVS/pharmacy

CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health, is America's leading retail pharmacy with more than 7,800 locations. It is the first national pharmacy to end the sale of tobacco and the first pharmacy in the nation to receive the Community Pharmacy accreditation from URAC, the leading health care accreditation organization that establishes quality standards for the health care industry. CVS/pharmacy is reinventing pharmacy to help people on their path to better health by providing the most accessible and personalized expertise, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS Health is available at www.cvshealth.com.

About the Ambassadors for Coverage Program

NYSHealth is supporting the Ambassadors for Coverage program through a New York State Health Foundation grant to Empire Justice Center, which has selected 20 organizations to raise awareness about health insurance options in communities throughout New York State with high rates of un-insurance. These Ambassadors conduct outreach, educate consumers about their options, encourage people to take the steps necessary to obtain health care coverage, and connect eligible New Yorkers to organizations that can help them enroll in an insurance plan. Learn more about the Ambassadors program and view the map of where these organizations are located at http://www.empirejustice.org/issue-areas/health/ambassadors-for-coverage/                              

For more information regarding the Empire Justice Center visit http://www.empirejustice.org/.  For more information regarding the New York State Health foundation visit http://nyshealthfoundation.org/.

 

Contact: New York State Department of Health

518 474 7354, ext. 1       

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Press Releases