An Advocacy Agenda to Empower Health Care Consumers Across New York State
Empowering Health Care Consumers
September 21, 2018
Although the Affordable Care Act sharply reduced by half the uninsurance rate in New York State, health care costs for individuals and families continue to rise as consumers assume more of a financial share through high deductibles and insurance premiums.
Now more than ever, consumers need additional and clearer information on health care prices and quality to inform their decision-making and to have a seat at the table when health policy decisions affecting the cost and quality of their care are being made. In 2018, NYSHealth awarded Health Care for All New York (HCFANY), through fiscal sponsor Young Invincibles, a grant to advance the consumer voice on issues related to promoting health information transparency and engaging patients as partners.
Under this grant, HCFANY engaged in an advocacy agenda to represent the consumer voice on issues related to greater price information transparency and to inject consumer voices into State policy decisions. As the State’s leading consumer advocacy coalition with more than 170 member organizations, HCFANY works to ensure that the needs of New Yorkers drive health care policy decisions. For this project, HCFANY members acted as both a strategic advocate and a rapid-response team to address the following topics to empower health care consumers in New York State: (1) insurance plan transparency, (2) medical billing simplification, (3) policies to guard against surprise health care bills, and (4) implementation of a consumer-friendly all-payer database in New York State. As part of its campaign, HCFANY gathered and shared consumer stories, as well as conducted research and analysis to produce policy briefs with recommendations and educational materials. It recruited consumers and consumer advocates to lead grassroots organizing and ensure that consumers are directly engaged in health reform advocacy. It also built stakeholder coalitions, including member organizations, consumer advocates, health plans, providers, and labor representatives, for policy panels and strategy sessions.
In 2020, NYSHealth awarded HCFANY, through fiscal sponsor Young Invincibles, a second grant to build momentum for its campaign to advance the consumer voice in New York State.