2009-04-10 / Top Stories

State Urges Residents To Check Health Benefits On Website

The State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) and Department of Health (DOH) have announced that New Yorkers can now determine if they may be eligible for public health insurance programs through the myBenefits.ny.gov website. New Yorkers can now use the myBenefits site to determine whether they are eligible for Medicaid, Family Health Plus, and Child Health Plus. The website, launched last June, has already allowed more than 122,000 people to determine eligibility for a range of programs and benefits, including Food Stamps, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other tax credits, the Home Energy Assistance Program, free and reduced-price school meals, and the WIC and EPIC programs.

"Adding these health insurance programs is a critical step toward making myBenefits a one-stop opportunity for New York State's families and community partners to connect with benefits and services," said OTDA Commissioner David A. Hansell. "It will allow individuals and families to learn about and ultimately apply for an array of programs by answering one set of simple questions online. Given the economic crisis, there could not be a more important time to launch this innovative interagency collaboration."

"The Department of Health shares Governor Paterson's goal to enroll all eligible New Yorkers in public health insurance programs to ensure they have coverage," State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., said. "The myBenefits site will help us reach that goal."

Also added to the list of benefits and work supports this week is the New York State noncustodial parent tax credit, the only of its kind in the country, which provides low-income parents who are current on their child support payments with a refundable credit.

Additional program screenings will be made available through myBenefits over time, and the ultimate goal is to allow for online applications, beginning this summer with an online Food Stamp application pilot project.

This effort was developed through the work of Governor Paterson's Economic Security Cabinet, comprised of more than 20 state agencies, which has been focusing on meeting the needs of working families in this difficult economic climate, with the goal of growing and strengthening the middle class.

"I am a firm believer that the myBenefits program is a vital tool for creating a smoother, more streamlined enrollment system for all who are eligible for public health insurance programs in New York State.

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