Connecting Undocumented New Yorkers to Coverage: Media and Education Campaign
Expanding Health Care Coverage
October 26, 2015
Although health insurance coverage has expanded in New York, a significant group of our State’s residents has been left behind: immigrants. Noncitizen New Yorkers have uninsured rates of more than 25%, the highest rate of any subpopulation.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a policy that offers deferred action for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States before the age of 16 years and who have been in the country for at least five years. It can provide them with employment authorization, temporary protection from deportation, and a Social Security number to work and pay taxes. In New York State, DACA also provides an opportunity for Medicaid eligibility, but remains underused in large part because the eligible population is unaware of this option. NYSHealth awarded a grant to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, as fiscal sponsor to the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), to support a public education campaign to increase awareness of Medicaid eligibility and enrollment among DACA recipients and potential applicants.
Under this grant, MOIA conducted a major public education campaign to reach more than 100,000 immigrants expected to be Medicaid eligible then or in the future through federal DACA expansions. Specifically, the public education campaign used four primary outreach methods: (1) targeted ethnic media advertising, both print and radio; (2) targeted public transit advertising in NYC neighborhoods identified as common residences for potential DACA applicants; (3) public education materials and a social media campaign with City partners; and (4) centralized resources and referrals through MOIA’s DACA Web page and its NYC 311 scripts. MOIA has significant expertise in developing and implementing successful advertising and public education campaigns, and was well positioned in the immigrant community to reach the tens of thousands of people eligible for Medicaid enrollment through DACA.