2017 NYC and Long Island Small Group Health Insurance carriers

September 8, 2016


2017 NYC and Long Island Small Group Health Insurance carriers

We often get asked about what insurance carriers are writing health insurance in the small group market in the downstate NYC and Long Island area. To address this question, we have come up with the full list of carriers offering small group health insurance below and included some information on the networks, the underwriting participation requirements, whether the carrier requires  a referral to see a network specialist, and most importantly the link to the carrier’s provider search.

Please use this information to search for your providers to see if they might be a part of one of the available small group plans. This tool is very helpful in narrowing down your choice of carriers. Please call us for any other questions and we would be happy to assist you in finding a plan for your company.

United Healthcare/Oxford – (Freedom, METRO, and Liberty Networks) – Largest network option available of all carriers. Prices on the mid to high side. Options for plans with and without referrals. All plans require 60% enrolled after valid other coverage waivers. No other carrier can be written alongside Oxford.

https://www.oxhp.com/secure/providerSearch/content_doctor.html  When selecting plan, choose Liberty, Metro or Freedom network depending on plan you are choosing.

Aetna – Very large network carrier. Similar to Oxford plan rates. No referrals required. Require 60% enrolled after valid other coverage waivers. No other carrier can be written alongside Aetna.


When you are choosing a plan to find the doctor : 1) Aetna Open Access Plans… then 2) Elect Choice EPO (Open Access).

Care Connect – aka NSLIJ Care Connect – Lowest priced group health option available.  Extremely robust Nassau, Queens, and Western Suffolk County network with new inroads in eastern Suffolk and Westchester counties. NO referrals to see network specialists. NO participation requirements.


HealthPass – private exchange comprised of multiple plan options at all Metal Tiers for carriers Oxford and Care Connect under one roof. Requires 75% loose participation that includes any other coverage waivers. Great for groups with diverse employee needs as only way to offer these carriers under one program and one bill. Also has optional Dental, Vision, and Life/LTD options and Free Cobra administration. For provider search use the Oxford Freedom, Liberty, or METRO networks,  or Care Connect search links under the respective carrier links above.

Emblem: Individual or Small Group – Select Care network. Mid sized NYC centric network but does include Stony Brook hospital. Plans require a referral to see network specialist. Mid to high prices.


Uses  SELECT CARE network. Choose ‘find a doctor’, then put zip in visitor search, then ‘plan offered thru my employer’, then ‘1-100 FT employees’. You can then search the SELECT CARE providers.

Empire BCBS –3 Networks to choose from – Mid to high range pricing depending on plan. Has excellent PPO/EPO no referral NY and National network as well as lower priced but much smaller and requires referrals Pathway Network . Plans start in 2017 and after.

Empire BC BS Provider Directory Look-Up

Click ‘search by selecting a plan or network’ which is below the ‘search as guest’ and ‘continue’ buttons Choose ‘MEDICAL’ care and ‘New York’ and under the dropdowns by ‘Select a plan/network’ under MEDICAL (employer-sponsored)  use the following network depending on your plan:

PPO/EPO – for all EPO and PPO plans not listed as Priority Blue or Pathways
Priority Blue – for plans listed as ‘Priority Blue EPO’ using your selected metal tier
Pathways – for HMO plans listed as ‘Pathways’ using your selected metal tier

Any questions please contact us at the office (631)207-1800 or you may email us at any time.