Expanding Health Care Coverage
October 9, 2015
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This NYSHealth report takes a look at the lessons learned from NYSHealth’s Enrollment Network, a statewide initiative supporting community-based organizations to conduct outreach and enrollment activities targeting populations known to be uninsured at disproportionately high rates.
The Affordable Care Act presented an enormous opportunity to expand health care coverage to uninsured and underinsured New Yorkers, making coverage more affordable and more accessible than ever before. However, direct assistance and face-to-face support to help individuals complete health insurance enrollment applications would be needed to ensure the success of insurance expansion. To address this issue, NYSHealth launched the Enrollment Network in time for the first open enrollment period beginning in October 2013. Although the Enrollment Network supports a diverse set of organizations across the State to serve all New Yorkers, it places a particular emphasis on reaching three important populations: low-wage workers; immigrants; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.
Specifically, the report examines the successes and challenges that Enrollment Network grantees experienced during the first two years of the initiative as they sought to improve health insurance coverage for vulnerable populations across New York. Since its launch, the Enrollment Network has enrolled thousands of New Yorkers in coverage. The report also examines NYSHealth’s strategy to enlist a diverse range of organizations in the Enrollment Network, including those that had no prior health insurance enrollment experience but serve as trusted messengers to their communities.