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Harrison Edwards PR/901-907-0448
[email protected]
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Ted Herman
Hudson Health Plan/914-372-2204
[email protected]

 

HUDSON HEALTH PLAN’S NEW SMARTPHONE-FRIENDLY WEB SITE
FIRST TO ANSWER DEMAND FOR MOBILE ACCESS
TO MEDICAID IN NEW YORK


New Site Helps Close the Digital Gap for People Who Use Mobile Phones
to Access Essential Services

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2011

(Tarrytown, NY)…The smartphone is today’s equivalent of a Swiss Army knife, an all-in-one device that functions as phone, camera, and Internet portal. Now, people can use their smartphones to gain access to excellent health care services, thanks to a new mobile phone-friendly Web site launched by Hudson Health Plan last week. Hudson is New York State’s only not-for-profit Medicaid Managed Care plan with a mobile-friendly Web site.

Hudson Health Plan

Using Hudson’s mobile device-optimized Web site, users can apply for coverage, find a doctor, pay their premiums, or call a Hudson Customer Care representative by tapping the toll-free number at the top of the site. With a touch of a finger or a couple of clicks, users can find answers to basic questions about the three state-subsidized insurance programs Hudson offers: Medicaid Managed Care, Child Health Plus, and Family Health Plus. Users can see where they can meet with Hudson representatives at community outreach events or where the Community Outreach Vehicles, Hudson’s mobile offices, are scheduled to stop.

“Hudson was among the first New York Medicaid plans to offer online enrollment, premium payment, and other services on its primary Web site, but “not everyone has a computer or easy access to the Internet at home or at work,” explains Mark Santiago, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications. “We know our members use mobile phones to access the Internet, and for many of them, their smartphone is their primary link to the Internet. We now offer them the same interactive functionality of our Web site on a device they already own and use.”

Users don’t have to remember a separate Web address to access the mobile site. Anyone who types in Hudson’s URL, http://www.hudsonhealthplan.org, or searches for Hudson on a cell phone browser, is automatically taken to the mobile-optimized site. To help the content download quickly, Hudson stuck to the basics in designing the site, including just the most widely used functions of the full site.

Mobile Access Helps the Uninsured

The majority of Hudson’s members and prospective members are low-income, working adults with children, including many Latino and African-American residents in the Hudson Valley. As a recent Pew Research Center study found, low-income groups are the fastest adopters of mobile technology, and African-Americans and English-speaking Latinos are among the most active users of the mobile Web. While 34 percent of Caucasians access the Internet with their cell phones, 51 percent of African-Americans and 40 percent of Hispanic cell phone owners log on from their phones.

Health policy experts also have begun to advocate for the use of mobile online access to enroll more uninsured citizens in public health care. An issue brief, co-authored by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Children’s Partnership, states, “The populations that rely most heavily on cell phones to access the Internet are also more likely to be uninsured.” Some 34 percent of non-elderly Hispanics, 23 percent of Africa-Americans, and 14 percent of Caucasians do not have health insurance, according to the brief.

For More Information:

About Hudson Health Plan

Hudson Health Plan is a community-based not-for-profit health care organization that provides state-sponsored Medicaid Managed Care, Child Health Plus, and Family Health Plus insurance coverage to over 100,000 members in New York’s Hudson Valley. Hudson uses every government dollar it receives to fulfill its mission, which is “to promote and provide access to excellent health services for all people.” Hudson improves the health of its members and the communities in which they live through its innovations in care coordination, and by supporting over 5,000 local health providers. In both 2009 and 2010, Hudson achieved the highest quality incentive scores of any Medicaid plan in New York State. It also has earned the highest ratings in overall satisfaction among Medicaid Managed Care members in the Hudson Valley region every year since 2003.

Hudson Health Plan is based in Tarrytown, N.Y. Visit Hudson on the Web at www.hudsonhealthplan.org, and at www.facebook.com/hudsonhealthplan.

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