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Wednesday, July 6, 2022 78°F New York

CHOICE MLTC Welcomes Over 5,350 New Members!

On April 1, more than 5,350 members of the former Independence Care System MLTC plan switched over to CHOICE MLTC. Above: An existing CHOICE MLTC member.

Talk about rapid growth! On April 1st, the CHOICE Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) health plan gained a whopping 5,359 new enrollees from New York City-based Independence Care System (ICS), as ICS exited the managed long-term care insurance market and the majority of its former MLTC members shifted over to CHOICE. Most of these new members transitioned over automatically, reflecting the New York State Department of Health’s decision to designate CHOICE MLTC as the default option for former ICS MLTC members.

“That decision was a real vote of confidence in our ability to care for ICS’s MLTC membership,” says Lori Ferguson, CHOICE Senior Vice President. “Over the past several months, our CHOICE team has been working very hard to prepare for this influx of new members.” These preparations include:

  • Contracting with over 125 providers in the former ICS MLTC network, including home care providers, durable medical equipment (DME) companies, and skilled nursing facilities, to join the CHOICE MLTC network. “Our two networks already had a 70 percent overlap in terms of providers,” notes Lori. “Now, with the addition of these remaining ICS providers, former ICS members can be confident that they’ll have full continuity of care.”
  • Working closely with CHOICE’s full network of care providers and DME companies to ensure that the transition goes smoothly for all former ICS members.
  • Hiring 80 new CHOICE employees, including call center representatives, care managers, network provider relations representatives and provider operations staff. “Among our new hires are close to 20 former ICS employees, including 12 social workers who will serve as care managers,” says Lori, “We’re excited to be welcoming these former ICS staff members to the VNSNY team.”
  • Finalizing arrangements for ICS to manage the care of former ICS MLTC members with disabilities who have switched to CHOICE. “In its new role, ICS will operate as the first-ever certified health home specializing in care management of individuals with disabilities,” says Lori. “We’re pleased to be working with ICS in their new capacity. This is one more way we’re making sure there are no gaps in care as former ICS members transition to CHOICE MLTC.”

With this new wave of enrollees, which comes on the heels of CHOICE’s record-breaking enrollment figures for December and January, the overall CHOICE MLTC membership now stands at 18,235, making it the third-largest MLTC plan in New York State.

“This milestone moment is the result of years of hard work in transforming our organization and updating our capabilities,” says Dr. Hany Abdelaal, President of VNSNY CHOICE. “Our growth is all due to the amazing team of employees in CHOICE and across the entire VNSNY organization, who together have helped us become the largest not-for-profit MLTC plan in New York State!”