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This is not a scam - Be on the lookout for important renewal notices!

Typically, our office works to educate consumers about new scams or ways to avoid identity theft, however, we also want to ensure that consumers do not mistake legitimate communications for potential fraud. NY State of Health wants to alert consumers who currently have health insurance through New York State Medicaid, Child Health Plus or the Essential Plan of important changes.

In their April 2023 Newsletter email, the New York State Department of Labor highlighted that renewal notices are being sent to all Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and Essential Plan subscribers, which may require you to take action:

Since the Families First Coronavirus Response Act passed in March 2020, enrollees in Medicaid, Child Health Plus (CHP), and the Essential Plan (EP) have not had to worry about renewing their health insurance. With continuous coverage requirements coming to an end, auto-enrollment will discontinue, and anyone who is currently enrolled in the above plans will need to start renewing their coverage.

Beginning in Spring 2023, renewal notices will be sent to enrollees in these programs based on enrollment end dates. Renewal notices will include the deadline to take action to renew your insurance or risk having a gap in coverage. Deadlines will be based on your enrollment end dates and will range from June 30, 2023, through May 31, 2024.

For more information about these changes and to learn what your next steps should be, please visit the New York State of Health website.

The New York State Department of Health also advises: To avoid a gap in coverage, NY State of Health is encouraging consumers to sign up for texts alerts to receive important health insurance updates, including when it's time to renew, by texting START to 1-866-988-0327. Consumers continue to have a choice of health plan options and can use the NYS Provider & Health Plan Look-Up Tool to search for preferred provider networks, including doctors and hospitals. Free enrollment assistance is provided in local communities throughout the state.

Targeting consumers with Health Insurance Fraud or Government Look-Alike Mail schemes is a prevalent tactic for scammers. Sensitive personal and financial information is often sent or requested through the mail and can be an easy method for scammers to target a large group of consumers.

Be diligent in reviewing the entirety of a mailing and be on the lookout for the red flags of fraud.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service website provides alerts and information to the public on the most commonly reported Mail Fraud schemes.

Contact our office for assistance if you are a victim of mail fraud or have questions about avoiding or reporting fraud. The Erie County Office of Consumer Protection can be reached by phone at 716-858-1987 or via email at Submit your Consumer Protection complaints through our website.