The Empire Plan is a health insurance program for New York State’s public employees. The Empire Plan provides medical benefits by paying for covered medical expenses and hospital services, prescription drugs and doctor’s bills. Any employee who is eligible for the New York State Health Insurance Program may enroll in the Empire Plan. The enrollment process is not automatic, and an employee must enroll through his agency’s Health Benefits Administrator, reports the New York State Department of Civil Service.
New York State public employees enrolled in the Empire Plan can choose between participating and non-participating health care providers. An enrolled employee has to pay a higher share of the cost if he receives services at a non-participating provider, notes the New York State Department of Civil Service website. The Empire Plan provides its enrollees with medical and surgical benefits through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company of New York. The company also provides basic medical coverage for enrollees who visit non-participating providers. Empire Plan enrollees receive hospital and prescription drug coverage through Empire BlueCross BlueShield.
The Family coverage option of the Empire Plan provides medical benefits to an enrolled employee and his eligible dependents. There is also an Individual coverage option that only covers the employee, according to the New York State Department of Civil Service.