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Letter From Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio and Commissioner of Health Antonia C. Novello
September 1, 2004
Dear New Yorker:
Over the past decade, Governor Pataki has introduced a series of meaningful health insurance reform measures. Landmark laws ó such as the Womenís Health & Wellness Act of 2002, the Health Care Reform Act of 2000, the External Review Law of 1998, and the Womenís Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1997 ó have helped improve health care and access to health care services for millions of New Yorkers. During this time, the New York State Insurance Department and the New York State Health Department have been responsible for implementing these important initiatives.
Governor Pataki and the Legislature have also worked hard to reduce New York Stateís uninsured population through special programs such as Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus, and Healthy NY. Thanks to Healthy NY, quality health insurance is now within reach of tens of thousands of small business owners and uninsured workers. Last year, Governor Pataki announced enhancements to the Healthy NY program, making the coverage more affordable and providing additional choices for prescription drug coverage.
The Interactive New York Consumer Guide to HMOs is designed to help you make sense of your health coverage options. The newly revised guide contains a ranking of all major HMOs in New York State by complaints closed in the consumerís favor. The guide also contains important information from the Department of Health to help you assess the quality of care offered by New York HMOs. In addition, the guide includes information on external review cases closed by each HMO in the past year as well as the percentage of those cases decided in the consumerís favor.
You should be aware that detailed information on health plan quality performance is also available in interactive format through the Department of Health Web site (www.health.state.ny.us).
Since 1999, the Insurance Department and Health Department have offered this type information to New Yorkers, updated annually. Our goal is simple: to provide every New York resident with timely information to make informed HMO comparisons. Let us once again help you make these important choices.
Very truly yours,
Copyright © 2004 New York State Insurance Department