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Mayor de Blasio and NYC Health + Hospitals Announce Plan to Help Health Republic Customers Continue Their Cancer Care Treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering

Nov 11, 2015

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, MetroPlusHealth, 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 MetroPlusHealth 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 MetroPlusHealth.”
“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 MetroPlusHealth 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 MetroPlusHealth 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 MetroPlusHealth before the deadline. MetroPlusHealth will work closely with the cancer center team to answer any questions and provide enrollment assistance as needed. Patients will be enrolled in MetroPlusHealth 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 MetroPlusHealth lower than current rates for Health Republic, these patients, and any other former Health Republic enrollees who enroll in MetroPlusHealth, 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. MetroPlusHealth 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 MetroPlusHealth can call at 855.809.4073 or visit MetroPlusHealth.org. MetroPlusHealth 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.
“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 MetroPlusHealth 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.


Contact: pressoffice@cityhall.nyc.gov,212-788-2958

About MetroPlusHealth

Over nearly 30 years, MetroPlusHealth Health Plan has built a reputation for providing affordable, quality care to residents of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens. A health services plan certified under Section 4403-a of the New York Public Health Law, MetroPlusHealth is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest municipal health care organization in the country. MetroPlusHealth provides managed care to more than half a million eligible New Yorkers. In addition to Medicaid Managed Care, MetroPlusHealth offers Child Health Plus, several Medicare Advantage Plans, a Special Needs Plan (SNP) for people with HIV and their families, a Long-Term Managed Care Plan, and over 40 NY State of Health Marketplace products. The company’s robust network of primary care doctors and specialists includes many independent community providers. Plan staff is drawn from the communities that MetroPlusHealth serves and speaks more than seventy languages. MetroPlusHealth has consistently been one of the top-ranked health plans in New York City for almost 10 years.

About NYC Health + Hospitals

NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation with a network of 11 hospitals including six regional trauma centers, community-based health centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, and a correctional health services unit. The system includes a home care agency and a health plan, MetroPlusHealth. The health system provides essential services to 1.2 million New Yorkers every year in more than 70 locations across the five boroughs. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees are uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. Visit nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected: https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter @NYCHealthSystem.