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New York holds consumer forums to inform Medicaid recipients about new behavioral health care benefits

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Sat, Jun 18th 2016 11:25 am

Upcoming forum in Buffalo to explain benefits offered through Medicaid managed care

New York State announced a series of upcoming consumer forums throughout New York to inform Medicaid recipients about new behavioral health and substance use benefits that are now available through Medicaid managed care plans.

A forum will be held from 10 a.m. to noon June 22 at the Buffalo Convention Center, 153 Franklin St. The event is sponsored by the New York State Office of Mental Health, the New York State Department of Health, and New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.

"Being healthy involves both the mind and the body. Medicaid managed care for behavioral health will give New Yorkers access to more comprehensive health care services, including mental health and substance abuse treatment," said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Ann Sullivan. "With any transition there are bound to be questions on the best way to access these benefits and what exactly will be offered. This is why we are holding these forums - to give people all the information they need to take advantage of these new services."

"We urge all Medicaid recipients who require behavioral health and substance abuse treatment to take advantage of these information forums," Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker said. "Taking care of your mental well-being is just as important as managing your physical health."

"It is important for all Medicaid recipients to understand their benefits, so they can access the care they need," state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. "These forums are an excellent opportunity for New Yorkers to better understand the services that are now available to serve their mental health and substance use disorder needs."

The forums will feature a presentation on what Medicaid recipients can expect from managed care for behavioral health, which new benefits they can access, and what to do if they are contacted about enrollment. Health experts will be on hand to answer any questions after the presentation.

As part of the state's Medicaid redesign process, the conversion to Medicaid managed care for behavioral health will provide New Yorkers with more patient-centered and recovery-orientated care. It will allow health care providers to integrate physical and behavioral health services to address all of an individual's health care needs.

New York began its transition to Medicaid managed care for behavioral health in 2015. Adult services in New York City have already made the transition and the state expects to make the transition for adult services in the rest of the state by July. The transition for children's services will occur by January 2017 in New York City and Long Island and by July 2017 in the rest of the state.

The forums are scheduled between June 1 and July 6. For a full list of dates and locations, and to register for a forum near you, visit: https://goo.gl/eVJFjp.

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