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Health plan provider assisting low-income clients opens downtown enrollment center

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A not-for-profit health insurance provider that serves low-income people eligible for government assistance has opened an office on Main Street, and has ambitious plans to sign up new members over the next year.

YourCare Health Plan quietly opened its downtown Buffalo enrollment office on September 12 but hosted a grand opening ceremony Thursday. Located just a few yards from an NFTA Metro Rail station, the office provides help to research providers, insurance options and create a family health plan.

Kim Hess, chief operating officer of YourCare Health Plan, says the company serves individuals who fall within the "safety net population."

"Those are individuals who are under the age of 65, in government sponsored programs such as Medicaid and Child Health Plus," Hess said.

Dennis Graziano, CEO of YourCare Health Plan, says  one in every five Americans now rely on a government-funded program as part of their health needs.

"For our members, programs like these can literally be life-saving," he said. "They help people to transition through adverse life events that may leave them uninsured, bankrupt or worse."

YourCare, which currently serves seven counties in Western New York, plans to expand into six additional counties in the coming months. Graziano announced that YourCare has also set a goal of enrolling 10,000 new members by the end of 2017.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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