Have you noticed in your travels around our diocese billboards located on some of the major highways advertising Fidelis Care? Perhaps you may be unfamiliar with Fidelis Care and its mission. If so, this issue of The Catholic Sun, dedicated to healthcare, gives me an opportunity to tell you a little bit about Fidelis and its mission of service throughout New York State.
Founded 18 years ago by the bishops of New York State, Fidelis Care is the New York State Catholic Health Plan. Its mission is an extension of the healing ministry of Jesus. The Gospels record the caring and concern of Jesus for all who suffer – rich or poor, young or old. Whether the son of a Roman Centurion or the mother-in-law of His disciple Peter, Jesus saw people in need and His heart was moved to heal them. The blind, the deaf, the disabled, the leper, and those suffering from maladies of all kinds – each experienced the healing touch of Jesus.
As the New York State Catholic Health Plan, Fidelis Care seeks to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. The mission of caring, in imitation of the healing Christ, is at the core of Fidelis Care’s culture and unwavering commitment to make a difference in the lives of individuals of all ages and families in need.
Fidelis Care is a unique expression of the Church’s healthcare ministry. Guided always by the Church’s moral principles and vision, it is committed to helping the poor and most vulnerable access the healthcare services they need and deserve.
Fidelis Care offers:
— A managed care program that follows the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Catholic Church.
— An opportunity to improve the health status of low-income families within local communities and in partnership with local providers and agencies such as Catholic Charities.
— A pathway for Church advocacy to address the mission of care to the poor and underserved.
The Church has long supported adequate and affordable healthcare for all, promoting genuine healthcare reform that protects human life and dignity – especially for the poor and most vulnerable. Aligned with the teachings of the Church, the realization of the Fidelis Care mission begins with a steadfast commitment to serve the underserved from all walks of life in cities and communities large and small across New York State.
The healthcare needs of the poor and vulnerable are often diverse and complex. Fidelis Care offers a personal, holistic approach to ensuring access to care. This begins with understanding the medical, social and behavioral health issues and concerns of current members as well as the thousands of uninsured children, adults and families whom the plan strives to reach. Fidelis Care works to ensure the highest quality care and service.
The reverence and respect for the human person, which we hold dear, come to life across the Diocese of Syracuse every day, in countless ways. Locally, Fidelis Care can be found on site at several locations within the diocese, including St. Joseph’s Medical Center and Franciscan Northside Ministries, helping the uninsured apply for coverage. Fidelis Care staff members frequently visit prospective members in their homes to make the process of applying for health insurance as easy as possible – answering questions, and helping individuals fill out the application and gather necessary documentation. They also help local residents connect with other vital community resources such as food pantries, public transportation and assistance with energy bills or even translation services.
Fidelis Care works closely with Catholic schools to ensure that every student has access to affordable quality health insurance. Recently, Fidelis Care’s Community Grant Fund provided more than $120,000 in funding to Catholic Charities, Franciscan Northside Ministries, Amaus Health Services at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and the Cortland-Chenango Rural Services. Fidelis Care provides free or low-cost health insurance through the State’s Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus and Medicaid Managed Care programs, and offers a variety of benefit options for seniors through Fidelis Medicare Advantage, Dual Advantage, Medicaid Advantage Plus and Fidelis Care at Home.
Over the years, Fidelis Care has evolved to be the largest government programs-based health plan in New York State, serving more than 720,000 members in 58 of the 62 counties – including the entire Diocese of Syracuse, where approximately 68,000 local residents have Fidelis Care coverage. Further geographic and program expansion is underway, as Fidelis Care is working to become operational in the remaining four counties of the state, and also to expand its managed long-term care program for the frail elderly, helping them to remain safely at home, with the care and services they need.
Fidelis Care has become part of the social fabric of cities, towns and neighborhoods across New York State, impacting local residents’ lives with one of the most basic human rights, access to quality healthcare – a tenet of the Church’s healthcare and healing ministry.
For more information, call 1-888 FIDELIS (1-888-343-3547) or visit www.fideliscare.org.
If you have an intention you would like me to remember in prayer, please forward it to me at 240 E. Onondaga St., Syracuse, NY 13202.