Fidelis Care, the health-insurance company of New York state’s Catholic bishops, recently received state and county approval to expand into Cayuga and Tompkins counties.
Now that the expansion has been approved by the Office of the State Comptroller, Fidelis may immediately begin marketing and advertising in these counties, said Jayson White, Fidelis’ public-relations coordinator. Fidelis also may begin accepting enrollment applications immediately, and in most cases enrollees who meet eligibility requirements will be covered starting Oct. 1, White added.
“We’re absolutely delighted by this because Fidelis, through our various Catholic Charities agencies, parishes and schools, probably has access to uninsured people that not every other insurer does,” said Jack Balinsky, director of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Rochester.
Fidelis specializes in offering health-care programs for those who lack access to adequate care and serves enrollees through the Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus and Medicaid programs. According to the most recent statistics available from the state Department of Health, 9,500 Cayuga County residents did not have health insurance in 2006, and 1,700 of those residents were children under the age of 19. That same year there were 10,000 Tompkins County residents, including 1,300 children, lacked health insurance, according to health-department data.
“Fidelis Care looks forward to serving residents of Cayuga and Tompkins counties with quality, affordable health coverage. Although we may be a new ‘face’ in the health care community, we want local residents to know that Fidelis Care is here to stay,” said a statement from Mark Lane, Fidelis’ president and chief executive officer. “It is our goal to make a difference in people’s lives and to provide them with convenient access to the quality care and services they need and deserve. We care about the lives of local children and families and will work tirelessly to be an invaluable community health-care partner.”
New York’s bishops founded Fidelis in 1993 on the belief that all New Yorkers should have access to affordable, quality health insurance. Fidelis established its presence in the Diocese of Rochester when it began operating in Monroe County in August 2007. As of Aug. 1, 2008, Fidelis had enrolled more than 2,700 members in Monroe County, White said. Although Fidelis has only been approved to operate in three of the Diocese of Rochester’s 12 counties thus far, diocesan officials hope that will soon change.
“Fidelis is in the process of building service-delivery networks in Livingston, Wayne, Ontario and Seneca counties,” Balinsky said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information about free or low-cost health insurance, contact Fidelis at 1-888-FIDELIS (1-888-343-3547) or visit www.fideliscare.org.