Health insurance help

March 22, 2009 5:28:53 AM PDT
An estimated four-million Americans have lost their health insurance since the recession began last December. Pamela Hassen, Vice President of Marketing and Senior Programs with Fidelis Care, joined us with tips for meeting your health care needs. How does lack of health coverage impact children with chronic health issues?
Nationally, 41 percent of uninsured kids who have chronic health needs postpone or skip needed care, compared to 10 percent of children with chronic health needs who are enrolled in public programs, according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study.

What other serious health consequences do the uninsured face?
Uninsured adults have a 25 percent greater risk of premature deaths and it is estimated that 18,000 to 22,000 American adults die annually because they are uninsured and cannot access the medical care they need.

What health care coverage options are out there for uninsured New Yorkers?
The options include New York State Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus and Medicaid. Child Health Plus, for children in New York State under age 19, is free or as little as $9 per child per month. Family Health Plus, for adults age 19 -64, has no monthly premium, and has some co-pays. Medicaid is available to people of any age and is free. Eligibility in these programs is determined by factors including family size and gross income.

How do local residents enroll themselves or their family members in Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus and Medicaid programs? What documentation is needed to apply?
At events held during Cover the Uninsured Week, Fidelis Care representatives will answer questions, provide more information about these programs and help with the application process. It is necessary to provide documents including proof of age, income and address.

What health care services are covered?
Comprehensive coverage includes checkups, preventive care, well-child visits, immunizations, lab tests, x-rays, emergency services, hospitalization and more.

For those unable to attend these enrollment events, how else can they learn about the options available to them?
For those unable to visit one of the enrollment events, an appointment can be made with a Fidelis Care representative. We will go to their homes or meet them at the local coffee shop or community center -- even after hours and on weekends. This takes place throughout the year, not only during Cover the Uninsured Week.

How can people learn more about Cover the Uninsured Week and more information about Fidelis Care?
For more information about Fidelis Care or Cover the Uninsured Week enrollment sites, call Fidelis Care at 1-888-FIDELIS (that's 1-888-343-3547) or visit