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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: 2017 Required Information Notices
DATE: September 21, 2017

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
September 11, 2017, 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. Enrollees are directed to call the Social Security Administration or Medicare or use those online resources for additional 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. If an enrollee needs a copy, please print it out from the website. The Creditable Coverage letters are included in the Mandated Packages for New Hires and New Retirees and are sent with the 65th birthday letters to comply with other legal requirements.

If You Need Help Accessing HBA Online or NYSHIP Online
If you need help accessing HBA Online, email the ITS Service Desk at 844-891-1766, or via If you are unsure of how to order publications or have questions about this distribution, please call the EBD Communications Unit at 518-457-7577.