Health insurance provider CDPHP, or Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan, said this week that it is expanding its coverage area to the North Country.
CDPDP is expanding its services from the Capital Region north into Clinton, Franklin, Essex and Warren Counties. President and CEO Dr. John Bennett was at the University of Vermont Medical Center Champlain Valley Physicians’ Hospital in Plattsburgh to announce that the non-profit insurer would bring what he calls high-quality, high service health care to the region. “There are a lot of people up here and more people up here than a lot of people realize. And we certainly realize it. And there’s a lot of growth. There’s a lot of opportunity. There’s a lot of excitement in this region. And we’ve also found ways to partner with the providers in this area and we’re very excited about that. We’re going to expand our service area. In doing so we’re going to be offering the residents of this region our award winning customer service and quality. We also have an expansive national network that includes some 825,000 doctors, specialists, nurses and hospitals across the country.”
North Country Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Garry Douglas noted that the region is in a remarkable period of growth and opportunity but one a primary challenge for employers is recruitment and retention of workers. “One of the key ingredients of being able to retain a quality workforce and to recruit a quality workforce are the benefits that you provide. On top of that list always and ever is health insurance. And so for the employer community, both the employer community here and the employers that we are in the process of drawing to this community, having a healthy competitive health insurance market is vitally important to economic development.”
Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor Michael Cashman said a healthy community is more vibrant. “What excites me as a leader in a rural community we know that health care is very expensive for the businesses and the individuals that need to use it on a daily basis. So to have some competition and more opportunities I look forward to seeing how that plays out in the weeks and months and hopefully many years ahead.”
Douglas adds that most individuals get their insurance through employers so it’s crucial to have a competitive market. “All employers of all kinds are having increasing challenges in retaining and recruiting talent. And one of the things that somebody will leave an employer for, even more than a couple dollars an hour, is a better health insurance plan. If they’re talking to perspective talent you can bet one of the questions will be: So what are your health insurance benefits? So it matters to have more choice and competition. What we have always struggled with here in the North Country the numbers aren’t there and they want to focus their competition in those bigger markets. So it all makes it very important for an area like ours even more than metro areas to see a major new competitor come in and say: We’re now going to be part of your health insurance market.”
CDPHP’s expanded service area includes 26 New York counties.