September 14, 2016 Healthy Living

Dr. Bennett Shares a Special Message with CDPHP Members

In today’s world, I know you have choices, so I would like to personally thank you for choosing CDPHP, a health plan that has been committed to high-quality, affordable coverage for more than 30 years.

As you well know, the past few years have been challenging for everyone buying health insurance, including our members, many of whom have been faced with rising costs and changes to their benefits. As a doctor, father, grandfather, and health plan CEO, I know that these changes have been difficult. Together, we have weathered a storm that brought about some of the most sweeping changes in the history of the American health care system.

Today, CDPHP is a strong, lean, and efficient organization with a steadfast commitment to community, customer service, and best-in-class care. We were once again named one of the top-rated health plans in New York state* by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and have received national recognition for our Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) program, a patient-centered medical home model that rewards doctors for quality over quantity, providing you with greater access and more time with your doctors.

Still, we know that there is more to do. Health care is confusing and costly; yet, it is extremely important to you and your loved ones. With this in mind, CDPHP is working hard to provide you with the support you need to make the most informed health care choices. Whether on the phone or in the community at one of our Customer ConnectSM locations, CDPHP has the tools and resources to guide you through.

My promise

Moving forward, I promise to continue fighting for affordability, advocating for greater price transparency, and working alongside your doctors and employers to ensure that you receive the best care at the best price.

I want to hear from you

If you have a suggestion for how we can improve your experience as a member and a patient, I would love to hear from you. You can submit a comment below. I promise to read and respond to each and every one.

You can also join CDPHP Insights**, an exclusive online community of CDPHP members who want to make a difference. Members who are interested can take our survey to see if they qualify. Once they join, they will be sent periodic surveys requesting feedback and have the chance to win $75 Visa gift cards.

I look forward to hearing from you. Until then, I wish you the very best in health!


Thank you,





John D. Bennett, MD

President and CEO


John D. Bennett, MD, FACC, FACP
About the Author

John D. Bennett, MD, FACC, FACP, is president and CEO of Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan, Inc. (CDPHP), an award-winning, physician aligned, not-for-profit health plan based in Albany, NY. Bennett has held the position since 2008 after serving more than 10 years as chair, vice chair, and board member for CDPHP. During his tenure, CDPHP has been ranked among the top-performing health plans in New York and the nation, most recently named #1 in Customer Satisfaction in the 2023 J.D. Power Member Health Plan Study. Under his leadership, CDPHP has also become known as a model employer regionally and nationally and was recently named among the top five Best Companies to Work for in New York by the Society for Human Resource Management, as well as Forbes Best-in-State Employers 2022. Prior to joining CDPHP, Bennett served as founding member and CEO of Prime Care Physicians, PLLC. During his tenure, he co-led a team of 25 cardiologists and helped grow the practice to a 100-physician multi-specialty group. Bennett is board certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Internal Medicine, with subspecialties in internal medicine and cardiology. He earned his medical degree at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, and a Bachelor of Science degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Bennett completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in cardiovascular disease at Albany Medical Center. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Physicians. Bennett is currently board chair for the Center for Economic Growth and the Capital Region Chamber, and vice chair for the Palace Theatre. Bennett also serves on the boards of the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC), the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP), America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Russell Sage Colleges. Bennett is a member of the New York Public Health and Health Planning Council where he helps shape decisions related to New York State's public health and health care delivery system. Well-known locally and nationally for advancing health care innovation, Bennett was recently named to Crain’s New York Business 2021 Notable in Health Care, as well as the Albany Business Review’s Power 50 list.

11 Responses to “Dr. Bennett Shares a Special Message with CDPHP Members”

  1. Gary Hunter

    I’m very disappointed in the dramatic increase of diabetic supplies that was passed down to your subscribers without much warning. Many people who have this unwanted disease are elderly and on fixed incomes. For myself, I needed to pick up a part time job just to afford my medicines!! Many diabetics have multiple drugs they need to take, not just one, plus needles, and to double the cost without much notice was a slap in my face, who has been a member for over 12 years! When it is time to renew my medical insurance I will have to shop around to see which is going to be more cost effective with the co-pays, premimums, and diabetic supplies.

    • John D. Bennett, MD, FACC, FACP

      I am so sorry that you are struggling to afford your medications. Unfortunately, the cost of diabetic drugs and supplies has skyrocketed over the past few years. What’s more aggravating is the fact that many of these drugs have been on the market for decades. Take insulin, for example. The first patent, which was sold for $1, was created in 1923. 92 years – and 5 million insulin-dependent Americans later – there’s still no generic. Pharmaceutical companies are taking advantage of people who rely on their medications to stay alive. It’s called opportunistic pricing and it should be illegal!

      Thank you,

      Dr. Bennett

  2. Diana Goes

    I would like to comment on the cost of prescriptions especially for those pertaining to Mental Health. I recently had one go from $14.97 to $50.00/month and it’s in generic form. To be honest, I was not prepared for that increase. As well as that one, I also have one which costs me $26.00/month which is also generic. It is getting too expensive for me to continue with these medications but I need them so I scrape the money together to get them. I am planning on retiring next August and I am afraid of how much it will cost me for the prescriptions and my family coverage.

    Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

    • John D. Bennett, MD, FACC, FACP

      Hi, Diane –

      I’m very concerned about the correlation between rising instances of mental health disorders and the cost of drugs used to treat patients like yourself. Sadly, this means that pharmaceutical companies are profiting on the backs of people who are suffering. It’s disgraceful. To make matters worse, generic medications, which are chemically identical to their brand-name counterparts, have seen sharp price increases. Last year alone, the cost of one in 12 generics doubled in cost, with some price increases exceeding 1,000 percent! I truly sympathize with your situation and want you to know that we are fighting every day to negotiate better deals with drugmakers.

      Thank you,

      Dr. Bennett

  3. Tara C

    As a human resources manager, communication on benefits and plan changes is always a challenge. I believe that CDPHP expects most members to stay engaged with their plan and abreast of these changes by logging in to a personal online portal, as opposed to receiving written notices in the mail. Can you please CDPHP policies around this (benefits communication)? Do members *only* receive communication online now? And how are HR managers/benefits administrators like myself notified of mid-year plan changes? I understand that online notices may save CDPHP money. But I think some key information might be missed by those not wanting to establish and log on to yet another online account. And with the various online data breaches at insurance carriers, our employees are increasingly wary of the online push. Thank you for your anticipated response.

    • John D. Bennett, MD, FACC, FACP

      Wow, those are great questions! As a health plan, we do struggle with how much to communicate with our members. On one hand, you want to make sure your members receive all the necessary information. On the other, we don’t want to overdo it with mailings. We are required to communicate any mid-year contract changes in writing. These cannot be placed online. In order to cut down on paper and costs for everyone, we put some of these changes in our member newsletters. Other changes, which we consider more significant, are sometime communicated in a single letter. Thank you so much for your questions and feedback. Very insightful!

  4. Cheryl W

    I am certain that you will give me the same pat answer you just gave to all the the other people who commented on the price of drugs going up. I believe that YOU CAN change this. Find companies who have lower prices and stick with them – become loyal to them and let us know who they are so we can request the use of their drugs when we get our prescriptions filled. I am quite healthy and always have my well care appointments scheduled. I am going for a colonoscopy and just found out that my prep medicine is $80.00! Really? It’s not a great procedure to begin with and then to have to take a prescription that costs $80 is outrageous. Besides the fact that I know other people are paying $10.00 for the EXACT prescription. I know for a fact that all insurance companies receive “favors” if the drug used by your members is purchased. The prep prescription is not a narcotic, nor a chemo med or any special circumstance – we all know what it’s for and yet it is $80. So do I forego a procedure or not buy food? You choose for me.

    • John D. Bennett, MD, FACC, FACP

      Hi, Cheryl –

      Thanks for reaching out. You’re right, that is a lot of money to pay out of pocket. We want you to get the screening. Here’s what I would like you to do. Please call one of our member service advocates at 641-3747. They will be happy to investigate an option that could help you save money. Thanks again for your feedback.

      -Dr. Bennett

  5. Erin P

    I would love to see an expansion of covered preventative services in the health field. Yes there has been some reward points for joining a weight program, educational talks or a fitness center. However, functional treatments such as personal training and health coaching are not covered. Personally speaking, years of spending on interventions for a Spinal condition, Joint Dysfunction and Lyme Disease, we would hit our high deductible 3 months into the year. This year I invested in out of pocket individualized training for strength and function two times a week, and in 10 months we have a fraction, yes fraction of healthcare costs this year. Win for me, win for insurers, but still all out of pocket for me. This would be effective for back pain, orthopedics, orthopedic surgery, etc….investing in prevention to save long-term costs.

    • John D. Bennett, MD, FACC, FACP

      Hi, Erin –

      Those are great suggestions. In fact, we’re working very hard to create products that reward our members for healthy behaviors. Our Life Points program provides members with gift cards for completing preventive screenings, vaccinations, working out, and more. While our NutriSavings program offers financial rewards for healthy shopping habits. We also offer over 300 free wellness classes per year! I understand your ideas are a little different. Please be assured that we are looking at any and all options that will improve our members’ health while lowering health care costs. Thanks for your feedback!

      -Dr. Bennett

  6. Ron

    great article

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