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The Empire Plan is a unique health insurance plan designed especially for public employees in New York State. Empire Plan benefits include inpatient and outpatient hospital coverage, medical/surgical coverage, Centers of Excellence for transplants, infertility and cancer, home care services, equipment and supplies, mental health and substance abuse coverage and prescription drug coverage.

New York State of Opportunity


TO: All Health Benefits Administrators
FROM: Employee Benefits Division
SUBJECT: 2016 Required Information Notices
DATE: September 29, 2016

The New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) is required to send notices to all enrollees at certain times during the year. This memo is to alert you to these mailings in case your enrollees ask about them.

Creditable Coverage letter to all enrollees
In late September, EBD began to mail Creditable Coverage notices to NYSHIP enrollees (including COBRA enrollees). While the notices may not pertain to enrollees at this time, they provide necessary proof of coverage information for enrollees or dependents once they become eligible for Medicare Part D. Enrollees are directed to call the Social Security Administration or Medicare or use those online resources for information.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Notice
The CHIP Notice, also a required annual notice, will be enclosed with the Creditable Coverage letter to save postage costs. It explains that Medicaid and CHIP offer free or low-cost health coverage for children and families who might need this assistance.

Where to find notices online
The Creditable Coverage and CHIP notices are posted in the Notices section of NYSHIP Online and HBA Online. We are not doing a paper distribution to agencies. If an enrollee needs a copy, please print it out from the web site.

If you need help accessing HBA Online or NYSHIP Online
Check the “You Should Know”section of HBA Online frequently as we post information about new materials there. It is also an excellent resource for you to order materials for yourself or your employees. NYSHIP Online is the public web site for your enrollees. Be sure to tell them about it, as it is a resource for all.

If you need a password for HBA Online, please call (518) 473-0873. If you need help accessing the web sites, you can email AGS-ITS-Service Desk at If you have questions about this distribution, please call the Communications Unit at 518-457-7577.