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New York state’s health plan for the disabled to shut down

The New York State Department of Health has agreed to a deal with Independence Care System to wind down its managed long-term care plan by March 31 and transition members to a different insurer.

If ICS’ about 5,800 MLTC members do not pick a new plan by April 1, they automatically will be enrolled in VNSNY Choice, the MLTC plan of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. Members who join VNSNY Choice will be “guaranteed the same level of services they currently receive for one year,” ICS said. Members who pick a different plan are eligible to maintain their same level of service for 120 days.

As part of its deal with the state, ICS said it will create the state’s first health home for people with physical disabilities. The Medicaid Health Home program coordinates care for people with multiple chronic illnesses, HIV/AIDS or a serious mental illness. ICS, which serves members in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, will apply that model to people with physical disabilities, coordinating their care but no longer acting as the insurer that approves and pays for their services.

“DOH worked with us over many months to ensure that we will be able to use the specialized knowledge and skills we have developed to continue serving New Yorkers with disabilities,” Regina Estela, ICS’ chief operating officer, said in a statement.

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