UnitedHealthcare today opened its first comprehensive health benefits store in the nation at 136-02 Roosevelt Ave. in Flushing.
With a focus on serving the Asian-American community, the new UnitedHealthcare Asian Plaza in Queens will provide residents with information and customer service on a variety of UnitedHealthcare benefits programs as well as health and wellness services and free public health education programs.
The 16,000-square-foot consumer-support center gives UnitedHealthcare employer-sponsored, Medicare, Medicaid and individual health plan participants access to customer service professionals who can answer questions in their native language about health care benefits, assist in resolving claims issues, and help with other health insurance-related matters.
Specially trained staff are also available to help consumers, including people not enrolled in a UnitedHealthcare benefit plan, identify and apply for more than 15 types of state and federal social service programs, including the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program, Medicare Savings Program (MSP), the New York State Food Stamps program, and heat and electric subsidies.
Computers and iPads are available for visitors’ use to obtain and print health-related information, and a “health screening kiosk” measures blood pressure, pulse and body mass index (BMI) – all important indicators that help people better understand their health status. UnitedHealthcare also will host an ongoing series of education seminars, which are free to the public. Topics include nutrition and exercise, disease management and financial planning.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held today with elected officials, community leaders and UnitedHealthcare leadership to celebrate the grand opening of the new facility.
“Health care is a local resource, and as consumers are increasingly being asked to play a greater role in their personal health, many people are not quite ready and may need extra support. Neighborhood centers like the UnitedHealthcare Asian Plaza will become more critical to ensure consumers have easier access to local resources so they can learn more about their health and the options available to them,” said Gail Boudreaux, CEO of UnitedHealthcare. “We look forward to serving consumers here in New York and expanding additional opportunities around the country to establish similar centers in other local communities.”
As part of its commitment to improve access to health care, UnitedHealthcare has increasingly engaged consumers more directly through storefront facilities. The company established its Chinatown storefront in 1994, becoming one of the first health insurers in the country to provide culturally relevant health benefits services, and in 2002 UnitedHealthcare opened a support center for Medicare beneficiaries in Flushing.
In 2009 UnitedHealthcare opened its Alhambra, Calif., storefront to serve as a trusted one-stop shop for culturally and linguistically appropriate health care information and services for Chinese-American Medicare beneficiaries in the community.
Most recently, the company opened a walk-in center for Long Island Medicaid members in Hempstead, N.Y., as well as a temporary pop-up store in Kingston, Tenn., to help eligible individuals select Medicare health care benefits during the annual enrollment period, which ends Dec. 7.
“UnitedHealthcare is committed to improving and expanding access to health care in our local communities. For nearly two decades we have been striving toward that goal by helping residents in New York and New Jersey’s Asian-American communities live healthier lives,” said Christopher Law, national vice president of UnitedHealthcare’s Asian Initiatives. “The opening of the new UnitedHealthcare Asian Plaza is the next step in not only improving the health of our plan participants, but the health of our communities.”
UnitedHealthcare serves more than 3.6 million New York residents with a care provider network of 203 hospitals and more than 43,000 physicians and other health care professionals statewide, including more than 1,000 Asian-American physicians providing culturally and linguistically appropriate care and support to Asian-American plan participants in New York City.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.