November 11, 2015
Health Republic Consumers in New York City urged to consider MetroPlus, the most affordable option in the New York State of Health, the Official Health Plan Marketplace
NEW YORK– Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Health + Hospitals President Dr. Ram Raju today announced a special agreement between the health system’s health plan, MetroPlus, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering (MSK) that will allow New York City residents set to lose their coverage with Health Republic Insurance Plan to continue their cancer care without interruption.
Health Republic Insurance of New York is shutting down at the end of this month and members from across the state must pick a new plan by November 30 to avoid interruption of services, including 114 New York City residents in active cancer treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Under today’s agreement, Memorial Sloan Kettering will accept the MetroPlus plan for all 114 individuals who are currently insured with Health Republic New York City and in active cancer treatment.
“The collapse of Health Republic left many New Yorkers scrambling to find new coverage and providers – today’s deal ensures that the most vulnerable of this group continue to receive high-quality treatment,” said Mayor de Blasio. “I thank NYC Health + Hospitals for its leadership and Memorial Sloan Kettering for agreeing to work with MetroPlus.”
“We want to make sure no New York City patient is left behind,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President Dr. Raju. “There’s no scarier time to lose health insurance than now, when these patients and their families are facing a cancer diagnosis and relying on the exceptional treatment available at Memorial Sloan Kettering.”
“We are pleased to be able to partner with MetroPlus to support these patients at a time of need,” said President and CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Dr. Craig B. Thompson.
“We are very pleased to be able to work with Memorial Sloan Kettering and help these Health Republic members complete their cancer care,” said MetroPlus President Dr. Arnold Saperstein.
MSK will begin contacting eligible patients today to inform them of the important opportunity to maintain continuity of care through enrollment on MetroPlus before the deadline. MetroPlus will work closely with the cancer center team to answer any questions and provide enrollment assistance as needed. Patients will be enrolled in MetroPlus starting today for coverage beginning December 1 with no interruption of services at a rate more affordable than what they were paying for Health Republic Insurance of New York. With both 2015 and 2016 monthly rates for MetroPlus lower than current rates for Health Republic, these patients, and any other former Health Republic enrollees who enroll in Metroplus, will be able to save anywhere from $46-117 per month for the Silver level plan to $73-163 per month for the Platinum level plan starting in December 2015.
The special Memorial Sloan-Kettering coverage will be available only to this group of patients. There are approximately 20,000 New York City residents in Health Republic. MetroPlus is prepared to enroll them now and will offer any former Health Republic enrollee better rates than they would have paid in 2015 and 2016 with Health Republic. New York City residents interested in enrolling in MetroPlus can call at 855.809.4073 or visit metroplus.org. MetroPlus can make home visits to those who need assistance with enrollment.
Health Republic clients who do not choose a new insurer by November 30 will be automatically enrolled by the State in a new plan offered on the State’s health insurance exchange, the New York State of Health, which may risk higher premiums.
“The nurses and healthcare workers of 1199SEIU applaud the leadership of Mayor de Blasio, NYC Health & Hospitals and Memorial Sloan Kettering, for making sure these 114 New Yorkers can continue their cancer treatment. Our members provide medical care to cancer patients every day, so we know how tough it is to face this diagnosis. Cancer patients should not have to deal with the loss of health insurance coverage as an added worry and financial burden. This is an inspiring example of the city and a provider working together in the best interest of quality healthcare for New York,” said George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.
“As frontline nurses, we are thankful to Mayor de Blasio for his attention to the plight of these cancer patients and for assuring them continued care at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. No one, least of all cancer patients undergoing treatment, should be without continuous, quality care,” said Jill Furillo, RN, Executive Director of the New York State Nurses Association.
"We applaud the Mayoral administration and the New York City Health + Hospitals for stepping up to continue to ensure care for the cancer patients that were set to lose insurance coverage. Continuing cancer care without interruption is essential. As a doctors' union we strongly believe that everyone should have access to quality care regardless of insurance or ability to pay," said Frank Proscia, M.D., President of Doctors Council SEIU.
“The only thing that makes hearing the words ‘you have cancer’ even more disturbing is the thought of losing your health insurance while undergoing treatment,” said Michael Davoli, director, New York Metro government relations of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “We are pleased to hear that NYC Health + Hospitals, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Mayor de Blasio have stepped up to help these patients when they need it the most.”
"We applaud Mayor de Blasio for leading the effort to ensure that cancer patients receive the care they need and deserve," said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. "People with lung cancer require continuity of care, access to clinical trials, and and access to providers with expertise in genetic testing and treatments. The Lung Association thanks the Mayor and MetroPlus for their efforts to ensure that lung cancer and other cancer survivors can continue to receive their care at Memorial Sloan Kettering."
"Continuity of care is critical to cancer patients attaining the most positive outcomes. We applaud all parties involved for reducing disparities in access to quality cancer care and treatment," said Linda Tantawi, CEO, Susan G. Komen Greater New York City.
MetroPlus Health Plan has nearly half a million customers and its commercial plans are among the most popular and most affordable on the state’s online health exchange. Financial assistance is available for individual and families whose income is up to 400% of the federal poverty line or $47,080 for a single individual and $97,000 for a family of four. MetroPlus’ “Essential Plan” option offers insurance at no cost or for $20 a month for individuals and families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but less than 200% of the federal poverty line. For example, a single individual earning $23,000 monthly could receive coverage with all the essential health benefits for $20 monthly. A family of four earning $30,000 a year would receive free coverage. A single parent raising one child and earning $22,000 a year would also receive free coverage.
The plan offers choice from an extensive provider and hospital network with over 13,000 physicians in over 27,000 locations including private offices, neighborhood family care sites and 20 hospitals in New York City. MetroPlus customers have access to all essential health benefits, including emergency services, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use services, prescription drugs, and preventive and wellness services. The plan also offers a vision and dental rider for an additional low cost.
MetroPlus ranked as the top managed care plan in New York City in quality and patient satisfaction for seven of the last ten years in the consumer's guide issued annually by the New York State Department of Health.
About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation. We are a network of 11 hospitals, trauma centers, neighborhood health centers, nursing homes, and post-acute care centers. We are a home care agency and a health plan, MetroPlus. Our health system provides essential services to 1.4 million New Yorkers every year in more than 70 locations across the city’s five boroughs. Our diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. Visit us at nyc.gov/hhc and stay connected on facebook.com/nycHHC or Twitter @NYCHealthSystem.