By Sabina Mollot
A Town & Village reader alerted us last week to some outdated information online with regards to Medicaid services that ended up causing her to go to the wrong address for help on one of the summer’s hottest days.
The reader, a Stuy Town resident, said she’d read online that the most nearby Medicaid office was at 462 First Avenue inside Bellevue Hospital. But when she got there, she was informed that the location had been closed for two years.
“Not two days, not two weeks, two years,” she said. She was then redirected to the Medicaid office at 115 Chrystie Street on the border of Chinatown and the Lower East Side.
A New York City’s Human Resources Administration webpage currently includes the location, though it mentions clearly that it’s closed. However, a Google search for “Medicaid Office Manhattan” does turn up an outdated link for the Bellevue location with no mention of it being closed.
A spokesperson for Bellevue said Medicaid had made the decision to close the office and there are currently no plans to reopen it.
The spokesperson, Evelyn Hernandez, added that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the New York State Exchange led Medicaid to close most of the community offices, including the one at Bellevue. Hurricane Sandy, which caused serious damage to the hospital, may have accelerated that process “but,” said Hernandez, “it was not the determining factor.”
Remaining Manhattan locations, along with the Chinatown one, are uptown, at 520-530 West 135th Street and 1901 First Avenue in Metropolitan Hospital.