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Community Service Society of New York

  • Project Title: Expanding the Small Business Assistance Program to Preserve and Increase Health Coverage
  • Priority Area: Expanding Health Care Coverage
  • Grant Amount: $1,200,000
  • Date Awarded: December 17, 2012
  • Region: Statewide
  • Region: New York City
  • Website:
  • Grant Status: Complete


The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides numerous benefits for small business owners and employees. Beginning in 2014, small businesses will be able to purchase insurance through the SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) Exchange, which will provide a menu of affordable, pre-screened insurance options to meet organizations’ and workers’ needs. However, many small businesses are uninformed and unprepared to take advantage of these benefits. Recognizing this gap in information, the Community Service Society of New York (CSS) designed the Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP) to educate small businesses about the ACA and assist them in maintaining and gaining health insurance. With funding from NYSHealth, CSS worked to double the size of the SBAP at this critical moment in the implementation of health reform.

Under this grant, CSS issued an open Request for Proposals to identify and add approximately 10 new organizations serving small businesses throughout the State, such as local Chambers of Commerce, to the SBAP network. CSS conducted intensive training to selected participants, and followed up with continued training and monthly case reviews. CSS monitored and provided quality assurance to the SBAP network, and offered ongoing technical support and assistance, including access to accounting and benefit specialists on an as-needed basis. CSS also produced and disseminated education materials, policy updates, and other outreach information for small businesses. Remotely, CSS reviewed presentations, workshop evaluations, and case notes to ensure high-quality services were delivered.

View a map of the SBAP network and NYSHealth's enrollment grantees.

Read the report, "Lessons Learned from the Small Business Assistance Program." 

Stories: Small Businesses Get Help with Health Coverage

Small Businesses Get Help with Health Coverage
For many small businesses in this country, it has been a challenge to provide health insurance to employees. With the creation of affordable health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), local businesses needed good sources of information about new opportunities and obligations under the law. NYSHealth supported the Community Service Society of New York’s expansion of the Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP), a first-in-the-nation program which provided grants and training to organizations to educate small employers in New York State about the ACA and help them take advantage of their new coverage options. Read stories from small business owners describing what the program was able to help them achieve.