An estimated 1.2 million New Yorkers were expected to gain health insurance coverage once health reform was fully implemented. An October 2014 poll by NYSHealth found that 92% of New Yorkers who became newly insured under health reform are completely or somewhat satisfied with their health insurance. To a large extent, the success of the Affordable Care Act depended on individuals and small businesses having good information and support to understand and navigate the new health care landscape. But awareness of health reform was low: only four in ten Americans knew that the Affordable Care Act was still law during implementation.
To advance the implementation of health reform in New York State, the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) supported a range of outreach and enrollment efforts to ensure that as many New Yorkers as possible gained health insurance coverage:
Small Business Assistance Program
With support from NYSHealth, the Community Service Society expanded its Small Business Assistance Program, a network of organizations across New York State that helped small businesses get affordable health insurance and understand their options under the Affordable Care Act. These organizations provide education and assistance on topics such as the availability of tax credits for small businesses and options for health insurance for small businesses and their employees.
Learn more about the Small Business Assistance Program, view the map of where these organizations are located, and read stories from small businesses that received assistance.
Statewide Enrollment Network
NYSHealth is supporting a statewide enrollment network of community-based organizations that conduct education, outreach, enrollment, and referrals, with a focus on communities known to be uninsured at disproportionately high rates: low-wage workers, immigrants, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender New Yorkers. The organizations participating in the network are trusted messengers in their communities and are well positioned to reach high-need populations with accurate, credible information about health insurance opportunities and enroll them in coverage.
Watch firsthand video accounts from newly-insured New Yorkers who received enrollment assistance through the NYSHealth-supported Enrollment Network.
Ambassadors for Coverage
NYSHealth is supporting the Ambassadors for Coverage program through a grant to Empire Justice Center, which has selected 21 organizations to raise awareness about health insurance options in communities throughout New York State with high rates of uninsurance. These Ambassadors will conduct outreach, educate consumers about their options, encourage people to take the steps necessary to obtain health care coverage, and connect eligible New Yorkers to organizations that can help them enroll in an insurance plan. NYSHealth awarded Empire Justice Center a phase 2 grant in 2014 and a phase 3 grant in 2015 to continue these efforts.
Learn more about the Ambassadors program and view the map of where these organizations are located.
Health Reform Visualization: CoverNYS
NYSHealth has supported the development of a data visualization of New Yorkers who are expected to gain coverage as health reform is implemented. The visualization, at www.CoverNYS.org, provided a snapshot of those who were estimated to gain coverage under public insurance or private plan options. Regional and demographic data are included to identify the areas and populations with the greatest potential for gains in health insurance coverage. State and local policymakers; organizations conducting enrollment; and health care advocates can use the interactive tool to better understand the health insurance landscape and opportunities for coverage in their community.
To view regional information about New Yorkers who are expected to gain coverage through the implementation of health reform, visit www.CoverNYS.org.