Expanding Health Care Coverage

Project Title

Ambassadors for Coverage, Phase 3

Grant Amount

$220,000

Priority Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Date Awarded

October 26, 2015

Region

Statewide

Status

Closed

Website

http://www.empirejustice.org/

Despite the successes of health reform, some consumers were and still are uninformed about the opportunities and benefits of having health insurance.

To address this challenge, the State launched a multipronged strategy to engage uninsured New Yorkers and help then enroll in coverage, including training in-person enrollers to provide support to individuals and small businesses as they apply for health insurance. To complement these efforts, NYSHealth awarded Empire Justice Center (EJC) a grant in 2013 to develop and administer an Ambassadors for Coverage program, which trained community-based organizations throughout the State to provide an on-the-ground presence in hard-to-serve communities and encourage health insurance enrollment. The Ambassadors provided an essential link between consumers and enrollment assistors. NYSHealth awarded EJC a second grant in 2014 to build upon these efforts. In 2015, NYSHealth awarded EJC a renewal grant to target populations that have been left out of previous enrollment efforts.

Under this grant, EJC continued to train, engage, and deploy community-based Ambassador organizations in New York, both leading up to and during the next enrollment period. The Ambassadors continued to provide a range of culturally and linguistically appropriate and effective approaches to inform New Yorkers about the NY State of Health Marketplace, the State’s official health benefit exchange. During this phase 3 grant, the program specifically targeted those New Yorkers who were left out of previous outreach efforts, including (1) populations financially eligible for but not enrolled in Medicaid and (2) low-wage workers and other groups that may not qualify for Medicaid but are eligible for assistance through the Marketplace. The Ambassadors identified those hard-to-reach groups and worked closely with the State on developing plans to engage uninsured individuals and families in those communities.

Read an NYSHealth issue brief about the program: “Ambassadors for Coverage: Extending the Reach of Health Insurance Enrollment.”