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Press Releases

MetroPlusHealth’s Marketing Strategy Taps Nontraditional Locations: Rikers Island, Airport Cafeterias, and Parent Association Events

Oct 26, 2016

New York, NY

MetroPlusHealth, the health plan of choice of more than 500,000 New Yorkers, today announced that its community marketing efforts to find and enroll uninsured New Yorkers by tapping nontraditional locations are yielding results. The health plan has recently been enrolling beneficiaries at the Rikers Island visitors center, at airport employee cafeterias, and at parent association events in city schools.

“We want to give New Yorkers the opportunity to connect with us in as many locations as possible,” said Arnold Saperstein, MD, executive director of MetroPlusHealth health plan. “In addition to our traditional outreach in hospitals and clinics, we are looking to expand our presence to wherever New Yorkers need help finding affordable, high-quality health insurance. Our efforts are paying off. In just three nontraditional efforts over a few months, we’ve connected more than 750 individuals and families to MetroPlusHealth—750 people we may not have reached with standard marketing efforts.”

“Enrollment growth for MetroPlusHealth is one of our key strategies in our efforts to transform ourselves into a high-performing health system, as well as to maximize revenue,” said Dr. Ram Raju, president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “The insurance market is a competitive one, but NYC Health + Hospitals has always been about caring for those who don’t get the attention and care they need from the rest of the health care system. So it makes sense that that would also be one of our strengths in reaching out to those who are still uninsured. And we are doing it.”

Three Nontraditional Locations

Rikers Island Visitors Center – Since December, MetroPlusHealth has stationed an enrollment specialist in the visitors center at Rikers Island one day a week, resulting in 121 previously uninsured visitors enrolling in MetroPlusHealth and now benefitting from its comprehensive services. Outreach is focused on Fridays, one of the busiest days at the visitors center, to maximize the number of people reached in a day. Additionally, MetroPlusHealth has a presence at the Correctional Health Services Assistance Center, a one-stop location across the street from the entrance to Rikers Island, where individuals can sign up for health insurance and get a medical appointment.

Airport Employee Cafeterias – MetroPlusHealth has built relationships with partners at JFK International Airport, including a food vendor that provides meals for airport employees, as well as with JetBlue and Chef Gourmet. During the open enrollment period in November, MetroPlusHealth will have two representatives available in employee cafeterias to present information to employees while they have lunch. Representatives are also available by appointment or on specified days throughout the year, with presentations made to new employees. Over the last several months, MetroPlusHealth has enrolled over 400 airport employees and family members.

Public School Parent Association Meetings – MetroPlusHealth is also working with parent associations in public schools. These associations invite MetroPlusHealth to their events at the beginning of the year, when they are most heavily attended. The positive relationships are also resulting in referrals to MetroPlusHealth when leaders of the parent associations encounter other parents who are uninsured. This school year, 230 new beneficiaries have enrolled to date.

Traditional Outreach and Open Enrollment

MetroPlusHealth is also achieving success in traditional outreach, including, as reported last week, Essential Plan enrollment growth by 50 percent over the past seven months; enrollment in MetroPlusHealth’s Essential Plan now surpasses 63,000. And, in September, following the ratification of a new contract by the members of District Council 1707 and the Day Care Council of New York, the 2,700 affected day care employees now have MetroPlusHealth as their health plan option; this was the first union agreement that offers MetroPlusHealth as the sole plan of choice for members and their families living in New York City.

October 11 marked the beginning of the open enrollment period for New York City employees and select other public employees, to whom MetroPlusHealth is promoting its MetroPlusHealth Gold product. Because of changes made by other plans, MetroPlusHealth Gold is currently the only plan to have no employee premium and no co-pays for a wide range of in-network services. For the first time this year, MetroPlusHealth Gold also offers a gym membership benefit. In advance of open enrollment, staff from MetroPlusHealth have attended open houses at a number of agencies and employers, including several CUNY schools, the Department of Education, NYCERS and some community boards, as well as at NYC Health + Hospitals sites throughout New York City.


Contact: Press Office, 212-788-3339