AIM helps individuals and families access health insurance coverage and treatment for substance use and mental health disorders.

We are part of the state’s Community Health Access to Addiction and Mental Healthcare Project (CHAMP). This program eases the stress of having to navigate the complicated insurance system alone, and removes barriers to treatment.

CHAMP is New York state’s independent health insurance ombudsman program for substance use disorder and mental health care. It is a joint program of the state’s Office of Addiction Supports and Services (OASAS) and the Office of Mental Health (OMH) and is coordinated by the Community Service Society.

AIM provides CHAMP services for the Southern Tier region, focusing on Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben counties.

We can assist with:

  • Enrolling in health insurance or switching plans
  • Understanding what mental health and substance use disorder benefits are covered by your insurance and how to access them
  • Finding mental health and substance use disorder providers
  • Obtaining needed approvals (such as prior authorization, additional services, and out-of-network services)
  • Appealing denials of mental health and substance use disorder services and medications
  • Providing referrals
  • Understanding substance use and mental health disorder parity laws and other regulations that protect consumers’ rights. Parity laws require insurance coverage for mental health conditions, including substance use disorders, to be no more restrictive than coverage for other medical conditions.

CHAMP services are free, confidential and open to anyone in the community.

For more information or to make an appointment, call McKenzie Berger, AIM's CHAMP Specialist, at (607) 962-8225, ext. 216.

Assistance is also available by calling the statewide CHAMP Helpline at (888) 614-5400 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. To download and print a CHAMP brochure, click here.