OCO Offers Help For Those Seeking Health Insurance

OSWEGO, NY – Oswego County Opportunities would like to remind Oswego County residents that they are available to help families and individuals access the comprehensive health insurance they need.

OCO’s Health Division offers Facilitated Enrollment into New York State’s Child Health Plus, Medicaid, Family Health Plus, and Family Planning Benefits programs.

OCO’s trained staff provides the information and assistance necessary so that those eligible can benefit from these programs.

“We are here to spread the word about the insurance programs that are available and help ensure that those eligible are properly enrolled in the program that will best suit their needs,” explained Senior Facilitated Enroller with OCO’s Health Division, Allen Wert.

Wert, along with two full-time and four part-time enrollers, serve as advocates for those seeking health coverage.

They work closely with their clients and help them with the application process.

“When someone calls looking for information on insurance we gather as much information as we can over the phone, let them know what documentation they will need, and then schedule an appointment where they can meet us at a time that is convenient for them. We determine which plan they are eligible for, assist them in filling out the necessary paperwork, and submit the application for them. We also educated them so that they are aware of their responsibilities and of what is expected of them,” explained Wert.

Health programs available include Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus, and the Family Planning Benefits Program.

These plans can cover anything from women’s health issues to full health insurance coverage including dental, vision, and prescription depending on eligibility, which is based on family size and income.

In 2008, OCO completed more than 1,800 applications and enrolled 2,600 individuals in these health insurance programs.

As a result, these individuals received a wide range of health care benefits including: regular medical checkups and immunizations, prescriptions, dental services, lab tests, X-rays, emergency room visits, hospital care and more.

In addition to enrolling people in these healthcare programs, OCO staff is able to offer assistance with any underlying issues that clients may have by referring them to other OCO programs and human services agencies that can provide them with the help they need to effectively deal with those issues.

“We operate in a true team environment. With many of OCO’s health services conveniently located at the same site, it makes it easy for us to work in conjunction with our other programs such as Cancer Services, WIC, primary care and Health Education and offer our clients a wide range of health related services,” said Wert.

OCO’s Facilitated Enrollment service is available year round at the following locations throughout Oswego County:


OCO Administration Building, 233 Oneida St.

Fulton Health Center,     522 S. Fourth St., Suite 500

Oswego Health Urgent Care, 510 S. Fourth St.


Oswego Health Center, 10 George St.

Oswego Hospital, 110 W. Sixth St.


Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, 3288 Main St.


Parish Health Services Center, 10 Carlton Drive.


Discovery Day Care Center, 80 County Route 59.


Pulaski Health Center, 61 Delano St.

“We are happy to be able to provide this service. We are very flexible and are available to meet with clients at any of these locations at their convenience,” added Wert.

Wert said those without health insurance coverage are urged to contact OCO’s Health Division at 342-0888, ext. 1450, to learn more about New York State’s Child Health Plus,

Medicaid and Family Health Plus programs and discover how OCO can assist them with their health care needs.

“These programs have expanded their guidelines to make health insurance more accessible to middle class families with higher incomes so that they will be able to have affordable health insurance for their children through Child Health Plus. As facilitated enrollers we strive to educate our clients and see to it that everyone has access to health insurance they need,” said Wert.

For more information on OCO’s Health Division and the Facilitated Enrollment Program, including days and time of availability at the above locations or to make an appointment, contact OCO’s Facilitated Enrollment Program at 342-0888, ext. 1450.

OCO is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966 and touches the lives of more than 20,000 people annually.

OCO is a United Way of Greater Oswego County member agency.

For more information, visit www.oco.org