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Maimonides, CareConnect launch initiative to help NYers benefit from 2015 Special enrollment period

Effort Will Bring Chinese, Spanish, Other Language Enrollment Support Services to Brooklyn

April 13, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Former New York City Comptroller John Liu says programs like CareConnect "bring us one step closer to our shared goal of making sure that everyone in our city has access to the health care they need." AP Photo/Seth Wenig
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North Shore  LIJ CareConnect Insurance Company, Inc. (CareConnect), Maimonides Medical Center and a coalition of community organizations have announced a new initiative to help everyday New Yorkers enroll in a qualified health insurance plan before the end of the Special Enrollment Period on April 30.

The program will bring special CareConnect outreach teams to Brooklyn, where they will offer assistance with enrolling for health insurance. The initiative will make special outreach to communities that face a language barrier while navigating the complex system of health insurance and benefits. CareConnect team members stationed at Maimonides will be able to offer guidance in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Fujianese, Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi. Anyone who is interested can drop in or call CareConnect to set up an appointment to speak with someone in their language. The team will be stationed at Maimonides Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. through April 30.

“Getting health insurance for the first time can be intimidating, especially if there’s a language barrier,” said Alan Murray, president and CEO of CareConnect. “At CareConnect, we see ourselves as advocates for the communities we serve. Helping people connect to health care and making sure they have every opportunity to manage their health affordably is central to our mission.”

CareConnect partnered with Maimonides Medical Center in order to help it better serve its communities which, for a variety of reasons, including linguistic barriers, have seen lower rates of insurance than New York City’s population at large. According to the state’s Department of Health, over 14 percent of New Yorkers of Asian descent currently lack health insurance, a number many advocates blame on a lack of English proficiency.

To help mitigate these barriers to enrollment, CareConnect will offer a variety of services at Maimonides, including support while navigating the New York State of Health website, assistance in figuring out potential eligibility for a subsidy, and help choosing and purchasing a plan. People can call to set up an appointment (1-855-706-7545) or drop in.

“New York City is the most diverse city in the United States of America, and how we go about insuring its residents needs to reflect that diversity,” said John Liu, former New York City comptroller. “Programs like this, which connect directly with communities in the way those communities find most helpful, bring us one step closer to our shared goal of making sure that everyone in our city has access to the health care they need.”

“Access to health insurance is something that every New Yorker needs and deserves,” said Rabbi Robert Kaplan, director of the Center for Community Leadership at the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. “This initiative is an important way to make sure that every community benefits from access to coverage.”

New York’s Special Enrollment Period was announced in February and extends through April 30. To be eligible, participants must have been unaware that they would face tax penalties if they did not enroll in a health plan, and have faced a tax penalty during 2014.


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