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Letter From Governor George E. Pataki

August 30, 2002

Dear New Yorker:

The availability of reliable information to compare the quality of health insurers is vital to all New York health insurance consumers. This is why we have worked hard to publish this interactive New York Consumer Guide to HMOs, which will help you make the health insurance choice that is best for you and your family.

The Department of Insurance and the Department of Health have collaborated to produce the 2002 Consumer Guide, and are grateful for the assistance of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine.

Among the many useful features of the Consumer Guide, you will find descriptions of health insurance products available in New York State, information on how to choose an HMO, and easy-to-read tables that allow you to compare HMOs in terms of quality and service. The guide also provides vital information on consumer complaints, grievances and internal and external appeals. A listing of the telephone numbers for HMOs operating in New York State is also included. We are committed to promoting a fair and competitive market in New York State and educating consumers about health insurance.

Please review the information in this guide carefully. It will help you choose the health insurance plan that best fits your needs.

Very truly yours,

George E. Pataki