Neighborhood Care center will help solve policy problems

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Ben Scaccia, the lead strategic implementation specialist for Emblem Health’s Neighborhood Care, told a room full of civic and religious leaders in southeast Queens that the insurance company’s new centers throughout the city were set to be “open, personal statements in the community.”

Emblem’s Neighborhood Care center in Cambria Heights is set for a test opening on October 29 at its new Linden Boulevard site, but its grand opening for the public will be in December. The goal of this facility, Emblem representatives said, was to provide a face-to-face help center for policy holders that will help with any problems they might have with bills or coverage. It will be open Monday through Saturday and provide help in English and Spanish.

The center will also go beyond normal policy help, Emblem staffers noted, and look to help members with their health and ability to pay for co-pays.

The center is open to any policy holder, he said, with a smaller scale of the site’s features available to non-members.

In addition to bill and coverage services, the representatives said health classes would be offered to help particularly target the high diabetic demographic in the region.

Several community leaders in attendance suggested that while diabetes is a major issue in the community, the care center should later explore targeting concerns of asthma and obesity in the region.

Philippa Karteron, executive director of the Council for Airport Opportunity, told the Emblem team that she currently had a package with the company for her staff. Karteron asked if the care center could come visit her office, or if she could bring her staff to the center, to inform them of what assistance the site really offered.

David Fleminster assured her that small businesses working with Emblem would have the option of bringing in staff to completely understand what Neighborhood Care offered, or Emlbem can visit an office to inform the staff.

Dr. Eliza Ng, a senior medical director at Emblem, summed the presentation up by saying that it was not just about retaining policy holders but supporting them.

“We want to be part of the dialogue,” Ng said. “I think we would like to be there and help people take care of their families and loved ones.”