Skip to Content

Published on January 23, 2015

Advocates help people navigate health exchanges

Greater Binghamton residents dealing with the complexities of Obamacare have a friend they can rely on to help them choose a qualified health plan.

UHS is providing free advice and guidance to anyone trying to navigate the details of (1-855-355-5777), New York State’s version of what are known as the insurance exchanges or marketplaces, as well as, the federal website.

Any member of the public, whether or not they are a UHS patient, can connect with a UHS patient financial advocate at either UHS Wilson Medical Center or UHS Binghamton General Hospital for one-to-one assistance with the enrollment process.

The 2015 deadline to sign up for a plan under the stipulations of the Affordable Care Act is Sunday, Feb. 15.  

A citizen can sign up for a qualified health plan any time of the year if they have had a life-changing event, such as a job loss.  Patients also can apply for Medicaid at any time.  

But the Feb. 15 date is key for most applicants, and the UHS advocates are helpful in taking some of the pressure off and giving consumers guidance and reassurance.

“Our advocates are here to assist patients with signing into the marketplace,” said Dena Wallan, manager of Enterprise Services at UHS.  “Each one is a specially trained UHS employee who is a certified application counselor with credentials from the New York State Department of Health.”

When a person contacts an advocate, an initial assessment is conducted to see if the individual is eligible for Medicaid.

“If not, we walk them through the different insurance plans available,” said Amy Wickizer, a patient financial advocate at UHS Wilson.  “We can assist the person with any required documents, and can upload documents to the marketplace to process the person’s application.”

To ensure confidentiality, an applicant must go to UHS Wilson or UHS Binghamton General in person to receive help from an advocate.  

To make an appointment, call:

UHS Wilson Patient Financial Advocates - Amy Wickizer, 763-5386; Renee Matthews, 763-5586; or Caren Bush, 763-5142.

UHS Binghamton General Patient Financial Advocates - Alan Goetz, 762-3300; Dawn Bennett, 762-3940; or Rena Henderson, 762-2550.