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GEORGE E. PATAKI
GOVERNOR

STATE OF NEW YORK
DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL SERVICE
THE STATE CAMPUS
ALBANY, NEW YORK 12239
GEORGE C. SINNOTT
COMMISSIONER
DANIEL E. WALL
EXECUTIVE
DEPUTY COMISSIONER

December 2001

Dear GSEU-represented employee:

Welcome to the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP)

Beginning January 1, 2002, NYSHIP will replace Univera as administrator of the Student Employee Health Plan (SEHP) for employees represented by the SUNY Graduate Student Employees Union (GSEU). Your SEHP medical coverage will be through insurance carriers under contract with NYSHIP: Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield (for hospital benefits), UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company of New York (medical/surgical), GHI/ValueOptions (mental health and substance abuse) and CIGNA/Express Scripts (prescription drugs).

Beginning January 1, 2002, SEHP enrollees will also have vision care benefits administered by Davis Vision. NYSHIP began providing SEHP dental care coverage, administered by GHI, on July 1, 2001. This coverage continues in 2002.

If you are currently enrolled in SEHP for dental coverage, you will automatically be enrolled for medical, dental and vision coverage as of January 1, 2002. Your share of the biweekly premium for medical and dental and vision coverage in 2002 is $4.82 for Individual coverage or $22.98 for Family coverage. Payroll deductions for health insurance will continue without interruption.

A summary of the SEHP medical, dental and vision care benefits was sent to you. Your NYSHIP identification card, participating provider directory and Certificate of Insurance will come separately. If you need medical treatment before your NYSHIP card arrives, your provider can confirm your enrollment by calling the Health Benefits Administrator on your campus.

Please read the summary carefully. Note an important change from your Univera medical coverage: the NYSHIP SEHP does not require you or your covered dependents to select a primary care physician. (Of course, you may still select one if you wish to, but you do not need to notify the plan administrator.) Medical/Surgical Network Benefits for the NYSHIP SEHP are available to you when you receive medically necessary care from any provider who is under contract with UnitedHealthcare to provide services to Empire Plan enrollees.

The directory you will receive for Empire Plan enrollees also applies to SEHP enrollees except for references to the ID card and listings of cardiac rehabilitation centers. You may search the participating provider directory online.

The campus Student Health Center continues to be available to you (on most SUNY campuses), in addition to your NYSHIP SEHP coverage. Any visits you make to your campus Student Health Center, which is not a network provider in the NYSHIP SEHP, are not covered under Network coverage.

If you are currently enrolled in treatment for mental health/substance abuse (including alcoholism), please contact ValueOptions at 1-800-446-3995 for help in making the transition to your NYSHIP coverage.

Dental care benefits

Continue to use the GHI card issued in July 2001. However, cards mailed at that time have an incorrect Internet address for our Web site. Please note that the proper address is: http://www.cs.state.ny.us. To access your SEHP dental care benefits on our site, click on Employee Benefits, then Dental and GSEU.

Vision care benefits

You do not need an identification card for your vision coverage, as explained in the enclosed summary.

If you have questions

If you need assistance, contact the agency Health Benefits Administrator on your campus, usually in the Human Resources (Personnel) Office.

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS DIVISION

Please note: If your employment with SUNY in a benefits-eligible position is ending, please discard the health insurance and dental plan ID cards and contact the agency Health Benefits Administrator on your campus to update your records.