NY’s Largest Insurer to Offer 3 Weeks Free Coverage

ALBANY (AP) -

Thousands of consumers who faced enrollment problems will get three weeks of free coverage from Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday following a state probe into complaints about sending out member ID cards late, failing to send out bills on time, and other issues.

An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 consumers who purchased coverage through the New York health exchange are expected to receive the relief. Empire, the insurer with the most clients from the exchange, also committed $2 million to encourage enrollment.

Empire says its nearly 30,000 new clients who paid an initial premium by Jan. 31 are considered covered since Jan. 1. They are also posting temporary insurance cards online that can be printed by clients who paid but didn’t yet get regular cards.