Weather Alert  

*TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS MOVING NORTHWARD ALONG THE EAST COAST* This product covers Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut ***TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS MOVING NORTHWARD ALONG THE EAST COAST*** NEW INFORMATION --------------- * CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Orange and Putnam - The Tropical Storm Watch has been upgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning for Bronx, Eastern Bergen, Eastern Essex, Eastern Passaic, Eastern Union, Hudson, Kings (Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan), Northeastern Suffolk, Northern Nassau, Northern Queens, Northwestern Suffolk, Richmond (Staten Island), Southeastern Suffolk, Southern Fairfield, Southern Middlesex, Southern Nassau, Southern New Haven, Southern New London, Southern Queens, Southern Westchester, Southwestern Suffolk, Western Bergen, Western Essex, and Western Union * CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Bronx, Eastern Bergen, Eastern Essex, Eastern Passaic, Eastern Union, Hudson, Kings (Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan), Northeastern Suffolk, Northern Nassau, Northern Queens, Northwestern Suffolk, Richmond (Staten Island), Southeastern Suffolk, Southern Fairfield, Southern Middlesex, Southern Nassau, Southern New Haven, Southern New London, Southern Queens, Southern Westchester, Southwestern Suffolk, Western Bergen, Western Essex, and Western Union - A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Northern Fairfield, Northern Middlesex, Northern New Haven, Northern New London, Northern Westchester, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Western Passaic * STORM INFORMATION: - About 830 miles south-southwest of New York City NY or about 900 miles south-southwest of Montauk Point NY - 29.7N 79.9W - Storm Intensity 70 mph - Movement North or 355 degrees at 9 mph SITUATION OVERVIEW ------------------ Tropical Storm Isaias, located off the north Florida coast, will continue to move to the north this morning, turning north-northeast this afternoon along the southeast coast. Isaias will continue moving northeast tonight over Eastern North Carolina. Isaias will slowly weaken as it accelerates northeast on Tuesday, likely moving over our area Tuesday afternoon and evening. There is still some timing and intensity uncertainty with this storm. However, confidence continues to increase with respect to the magnitude of local hazards and impacts. The main threats with this system involve heavy rainfall, strong winds, minor to moderate coastal flooding, along with high surf and dangerous rip currents. Locally heavy rain is expected with a widespread 2 to 4 inches, with localized amounts up to 6 inches possible. The heaviest rain is most likely to occur across New York City, Northeast New Jersey and the Lower Hudson Valley early Tuesday morning through Tuesday evening, and eastern sections Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night. The strongest winds are likely to occur across Long Island, coastal Connecticut, and the New York City Metro. Dangerous marine conditions are likely across all of the coastal waters Tuesday and Tuesday night. High surf and dangerous rip currents are expected along the ocean beaches Monday through Wednesday. The effects from Tropical Storm Isaias are expected to diminish quickly from southwest to northeast across the area Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. POTENTIAL IMPACTS ----------------- * FLOODING RAIN: Protect against life-threatening rainfall flooding having possible extensive impacts across northeastern New Jersey, New York City, and the Lower Hudson Valley. Potential impacts include: - Major rainfall flooding may prompt many evacuations and rescues. - Rivers and streams may rapidly overflow their banks in multiple places. Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches may become dangerous rivers. Flood control systems and barriers may become stressed. - In hilly terrain, destructive runoff may run quickly down valleys, and increase susceptibility to rockslides and mudslides. - Flood waters can enter many structures within multiple communities, some structures becoming uninhabitable or washed away. Many places where flood waters may cover escape routes. Streets and parking lots become rivers of moving water with underpasses submerged. Driving conditions become dangerous. Many road and bridge closures with some weakened or washed out. * WIND: Protect against dangerous wind having possible significant impacts across Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut. Potential impacts include: - Some damage to roofing and siding materials, along with damage to porches, awnings, carports, and sheds. A few buildings experiencing window, door, and garage door failures. Mobile homes damaged, especially if unanchored. Unsecured lightweight objects become dangerous projectiles. - Several large trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Several fences and roadway signs blown over. - Some roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. A few bridges, causeways, and access routes impassable. - Scattered power and communications outages, but more prevalent in areas with above ground lines. * SURGE: Protect against locally hazardous surge having possible limited impacts across shoreline communities. Potential impacts in this area include: - There is potential for widespread minor to locally moderate coastal flooding across the Lower New York Harbor and South Shore Back Bays, with localized minor flooding impacts elsewhere. - Localized inundation with storm surge flooding mainly along immediate shorelines and in low lying spots. - Sections of near shore roads and parking lots become overspread with surge water. Driving conditions dangerous in places where surge water covers the road. - Moderate beach erosion. Heavy surf also breaching dunes, mainly in usually vulnerable locations. Strong and frequent rip currents. - Minor to locally moderate damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers. A few small craft broken away from moorings. * TORNADOES: Protect against a tornado event having possible limited impacts across Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut. Potential impacts include: - The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans during tropical events. - A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power and communications disruptions. - Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings.

Governor Cuomo Announces Thousands of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Consumers Will Receive Three Weeks of Free Coverage

LongIsland.com

Empire Also Committing $2 Million to Consumer Education to Encourage Enrollment of Uninsured and Others through New York State of Health.

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Albany, NY - February 9, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that thousands of consumers who faced enrollment problems and other issues after signing up for health insurance with Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield (“Empire”) will receive three weeks of free coverage. The agreement follows a Department of Financial Services (DFS) probe into complaints about Empire sending out member ID cards late, failing to send out bills on time, and other issues.
 
“Empire did the right thing by working to address these issues and delivering relief to consumers,” said Governor Cuomo. “We will continue to work vigilantly to ensure that consumers receive the high standards of care and service that they deserve from their insurance companies.”
 
Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, said: “We acted swiftly to investigate these problems and work with Empire to correct them. We’re pleased that the company stepped up to acknowledge the issue and move to make progress toward fixing it.”
 
On January 9, DFS wrote to Empire urging that they take immediate action to rectify complaints about enrollment problems among consumers signing up for coverage through the New York State of Health (NYSOH) marketplace. Among the issues that DFS identified included:
 
Failure to Send Premium Bills and ID Cards on a Timely Basis. Many newly enrolled customers complained that Empire either failed to send premium bills, or else failed to send bills in a timely fashion. Furthermore, some newly enrolled consumers complained that they had not received member identification cards from Empire.
Failure to Ensure that Enrollees are Properly Transferred into Appropriate Plans. Consumers complained that Empire had no mechanism for transferring direct pay enrollees into new coverage.
Failure to Timely Answer or Handle Telephone Inquiries. DFS received reports that Empire was not answering calls from consumers and, in other instances, subjecting callers to unreasonably long wait times.
 
In recognition of these and other challenges faced by their policyholders, Empire has agreed to provide three weeks of free coverage to consumers who enrolled through NYSOH and paid for coverage for the month of January, but did not receive care during that period. Those consumers will receive cash payments equivalent to three weeks of premiums paid. An estimated total of 15,000-20,000 Empire consumers are expected to receive this relief. Under the agreement, Empire has also committed $2 million to consumer education to encourage enrollment of the uninsured and others in health care coverage through NYSOH.
 
DFS will continue to monitor Empire’s implementation of new enrollment and compliance with this agreement. Consumers who wish to file a complaint about Empire or another insurer can call the DFS Consumer Hotline at (212) 480-6400 or (800) 342-3736 for assistance.