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Group offers uninsured help line

A national nonprofit organization has rolled out an information tool for uninsured New Yorkers to find private or public health insurance plans for which they are eligible.

The national "Coverage for All" program, sponsored by the Foundation for Health Coverage Education, includes a free U.S. Uninsured Help Line that provides one-on-one live telephone assistance, 24 hours a day. The number is (800) 234-1317

Staffers, who speak multiple languages, screen for both public and private health insurance, help identify options, and link callers with health plan representatives.

The program also includes a "New York Health Care Options Matrix" that outlines plans, coverage, eligibility and monthly costs for both public and private plans in the state.

And there's a "health coverage eligibility tool" with five questions to help people find free or low-cost health benefits. The questions ask about their current health status and special health conditions, what segment of the population they are in, how many members in their household, their monthly income, and their age.

The group said more than 1 million New Yorkers are eligible for public health insurance but are not enrolled. A family of four earning up to $50,000 per year could qualify in New York.


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