Fidelis employees could not have been more excited to be in Ridgewood on Saturday, as they rolled out the red carpet and CEO the Rev. Patrick Frawley cut the ribbon for the grand opening of a new branch office at 16-74 Putnam Ave.
According to Lori Vavrinec, the director of marketing, 51 people have already walked in seeking health insurance. Fidelis helps people in underserved areas qualify for insurance coverage and enrolls them in plans, she said.
Since the Affordable Care Act passed, more people qualify for subsidies, public relations manager Anne Hughes noted. “They can finally get insurance that’s affordable.”
Fidelis Care is an approved Qualified Health Plan participating in New York State of Health: The Official Health Plan Marketplace.
The company has over a million members statewide. It also has an office in Flushing as well as in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Long Island, and soon in Yonkers.
“It’s a time of growth for us,” Vavrinec said. “We think this neighborhood is going to be terrific.”
Ridgewood was selected because it is accessible by train and bus and because it’s on the border of Queens and Brooklyn, Hughes said. Fidelis partners with Wyckoff Heights Hospital in Bushwick and has a network with more than 53,000 providers.
Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) called Fidelis a “phenomenal company” and “a good community organization.” He has participated in seminars on the Affordable Care Act at Fidelis facilities to teach constituents how to navigate the process.
“New Yorkers have responded well to the Affordable Care Act,” Miller said. “A lot of people did not have coverage. It gave them the opportunity to get coverage. It gives people a way to take care of their health in an affordable way.”
“Too many people are without healthcare,” said Gary Giordano, the district manager of Community Board 5. “There’s a big gap between people who are eligible for Medicaid and people covered by their employer. Hopefully we’ll have a much healthier society if affordable healthcare is done well.”