LIFEPlan understands that this is a time of uncertainty and change, and that you probably have many questions.  As we work together to navigate our way through the COVID-19 public health emergency be assured that LIFEPlan has two primary, and closely related, goals.

These goals are: 

– to protect our members/families and Care Managers from contracting or spreading the virus, while

– continuing to provide the supports and services you need.

Please share your questions regarding the COVID-19 crisis. We will respond here on an ongoing basis. Thank you.

Answer:  This is a question that is on a lot of people’s minds. As we wait for the current social distancing rules to be modified by Governor Cuomo our hope is these changes will open the door for family visits. The use of video conferencing may help at this time. Contacting your provider to check on their status may provide some insight as well. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Care Manager, as they are there to assist you. .

Answer: LIFEPlan can send you a list of your assembly representatives. Please email and well will send you a list for your reference.  

Answer: The impact of COVID-19 on the State budget is not known at this time, we do not know any specifics of the budget and how they will be impacting supports, including day habilitation. We expect the budget to be released soon and will be advocating for zero Medicaid cuts. 

Answer: The result of New York States shutdown related to COVID-19 has impacted all IDD providers. With the Governors phased reopening of the state there is no clear timeline on when and where programs and supports will begin to re-open. This includes recreation program, summer program and summer camps. For a specific program we suggest you contact them directly to check on the status of their re-opening and policies surrounding it.  

Answer: It is understandable that some people may feel this way. Here are some coping strategies to try: 

  • Encourage them to talk about the reasons why they do not want to go outside. Be sure to validate those feelings. Try to address any underlying concerns if possible. 
  • Encourage but don’t force them to go outside. Allow them to go outside on their own. 
  • Work on building and using existing calming/coping skills to manage anxiety. 
  • Take tiny steps toward getting outside (e.g., step outside or just go to the door versus going to town). Make it a fun activity around going outside with a preferred activity. Use their interest, let them choose. 
  • If they are still struggling speak with your carmanager about professional supports that can assist you. 

Answer: This is a great question to address with your care manager. They may not have the answer but have resources to gather as much information for you that is available.

Answer:  OPWDD is trying to be flexible and they are evaluating requests for service increases as they apply to health and safety. Please review your needs withyour Care Manager at this time and they can assist you with making any requests for an increase based on this information.

Answer: Since the onset of COVID-19 We have been advocating with OPWDD on many topics. Hospitalizations, clinical supports and education to name a few. Currently it is unclear how the reopening of special education will look. We continue to advocate on this topic and will keep you posted as we learn and understand more.

Answer: People are interested in keeping on schedule with their meeting. Although it will look different as meetings will be done via video conferencing or phone calls for now. These meetings can still take place if you choose. 

Answer: Your specific providers will best determine how to proceed; we recommend asking your provider(s) what their policies are.

Answer: If you need technological assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic please reach out to your care manager, they canhelp you determine what supports may be available. 

Answer:  While the state has temporarily waived face to face meeting requirements for CCOs/Health Homes (to safeguard you and your Care Manager from passing the virus to each other) your Care Manager will continue to support you by phone, teleconference or videoconference. A special assessment tool has been created to help determine if you have any special risks or need any additional supports related to the new virus. Your Care Manager will go over this assessment with you when they call.  You can also continue to contact your Care Manager (or his/her Supervisors) just as you always have.

Answer:  Should a situation arise where you or your Care Manager feel a home visit or face to face meeting is necessary, we have adopted specific screening protocols to protect both you and your Care Manager from infecting each other – while assisting you in getting any immediate services or supports you may need.  Your Care Manager and his/her Supervisor will work through this with you.

Answer:  The LIFEPlan Care Management Team has developed a coverage plan for Care Managers who become ill (or are quarantined and unable to make emergency home visits) so that your needs will not go unmet while they are recuperating or quarantined.  We will contact you to let you know if this happens and will provide you with the name and contact number of the Care Manager who will be covering as well as his/her Supervisor.

Answer:  Yes.  Your Care Manager will gather the information they need from you and your caregivers by phone (or teleconference/videoconference depending on your preference and which options are available at the time).  Life Plan meetings with you and your team/circle of support will also take place by conference call or videoconference.

Answer:  You should continue to call use the LIFEPlan Emergency On-Call numbers listed here when you need immediate assistance after hours.  For other inquiries please call 315-565-2612 and you will be directed to someone who can assist you.

Submit your questions here: