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Lessons Learned from the Small Business Assistance Program

Lessons Learned from the Small Business Assistance Program
  • By: Community Service Society
  • Date: April 2015
  • Priority Area: Expanding Health Care Coverage
  • Type: Resources
  • Category: Report
  • Document: Download

Overview

In this NYSHealth-supported report, the Community Service Society of New York describes the impact of establishing a network to provide health insurance assistance to small businesses throughout New York State.

Most Americans rely on their employers to provide health insurance coverage options, but health insurance has long been a benefit that few small businesses and their employees could afford. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides new options for small businesses to provide affordable coverage to their employees, get tax credits, and reduce their costs. To take advantage of these opportunities, small businesses need good sources of information about their options and obligations under the ACA.

The Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP) was a first-in-the-nation program that provided grants and training to small business-serving organizations to educate small employers in New York State about the ACA and help them with their health insurance problems. Between 2012 and 2014, SBAP funded 34 organizations statewide that were already trusted resources in local business communities. These organizations, some of which were funded by NYSHealth, provided information, counseling sessions, and presentations to 28,575 small businesses across New York State. The SBAP grantees also leveraged their outreach and education systems to reach local businesses in need of assistance and share information year-round.

This report describes how the SBAP network of business-serving groups reached thousands of small businesses across New York State to help them take advantage of their opportunities under the ACA, and offers a collection of the stories from these small businesses. Small employers will need continued assistance from experienced counselors in the years to come, and the SBAP network illustrates the value of meeting the needs of small businesses in any ACA outreach and enrollment strategy.

Read stories from this report featuring small business owners and describing what the program was able to help them achieve.