Expanding Health Care Coverage

Grantee Name

New York Health Purchasing Alliance, Inc., d.b.a. HealthPass

Funding Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Publication Date

July 2011

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

March 2009 to January 2010


HealthPass is a nonprofit initiative that offers an array of insurance plans to small businesses.

With a planning grant from the New York Health Foundation’s “Expanding Coverage Options in the Small Group and Individual Market in New York State” program, HealthPass analyzed the feasibility of adding Healthy NY, a State-sponsored insurance plan that offers coverage to businesses with 50 or fewer employees, sole proprietors, and individuals, to the HealthPass menu of insurance plans. For those who met the income-based eligibility criteria, the State subsidized benefits, allowing Healthy NY to offer premiums at a lower cost. HealthPass believed that if Healthy NY could be brought into HealthPass, more small businesses would provide coverage to their low-income workers.

This grant was one of five organizations that received a planning grant from the 2008 NYHealth request for proposals (RFP), “Expanding Coverage Options in the Small Group and Individual Market in New York State.” The RFP grew directly out of the Foundation’s desire to generate ideas for expanding health insurance options for small businesses and sole proprietors.

Read an NYHealth special report that contains a summary of findings from this RFP.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Worked with the State Department of Insurance to identify any statutory and regulatory issues that might hinder integration, such as enrollment, recertification, and HealthPass’ authority to underwrite for Healthy NY.
  • Met with an insurance carrier and a third-party administrator regarding terms of letters of agreement.
  • Developed a business plan to guide decisions and a marketing plan aimed at brokers, employers, and employees.
  • Conducted focus groups to ascertain the willingness of brokers to present Healthy NY to small businesses.
  • Estimated sales and the number and characteristics of potentially eligible businesses.