Expanding Health Care Coverage

Grantee Name

That Design Firm, Inc.

Funding Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Publication Date

November 2014

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

July 2013 – October 2013

At its initial implementation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was expected to offer 1.2 million New Yorkers the opportunity to gain health care coverage.

During this period of health reform, creative tools that raise awareness and bring information to the public and policymakers are critical. Visualizations have been described as “communication at the intersection of big data, storytelling, and design.”

In 2013, New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) awarded That Design Firm, Inc., a grant to create CoverNYS, a digital interactive map of New York State that would allow users to view information about the number of people expected to gain health coverage as a result of the ACA, filtered by specific geographic areas and demographic data. It was expected that offering this information in a user-friendly manner would facilitate the deployment of assistance to communities most in need of outreach and enrollment resources.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Created CoverNYS, a visualization of uninsured New Yorkers estimated to gain coverage under Medicaid and private plan options or remain uninsured, incorporating data previously commissioned by New York State and compiled by the Urban Institute;
  • Allowed users to access information from different geographic regions of the State and across various demographic categories, including gender, income levels, race/ethnicity, and language; and
  • Launched CoverNYS to coincide with publicity and interest in the rollout of the ACA.

From October 2013 through September 2014, the visualization garnered 7,350 online page views, with an average page visit duration of more than 2 minutes. At its launch, CoverNYS received publicity from media outlets and other organizations across the State, including in the New York Times.