Expanding Health Care Coverage

Grantee Name

S2AY Rural Health Network

Funding Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Publication Date

July 2011

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

November 1, 2008-October 31, 2009


The S2AY Rural Health Network (which comprises the Public Health Departments in Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Allegany, Yates, Ontario, and Wayne Counties), together with the Genesee Valley Health Partnership in Livingston County, Excellus, Preferred Care, and the Chambers of Commerce, formed a partnership to undertake, “Making it Easy: A Rural Plan to Increase Enrollment in Healthy NY.”

The goal was to inform rural small business owners about the options available to them, particularly the publicly subsidized option, Healthy NY, and ultimately identify specific ways to boost health insurance enrollment.

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

  • Held focus groups with more than 100 small business owners to discuss the barriers to purchasing health insurance for employers and their staff.
  • Reviewed coverage strategies used in other states; coverage options available in New York State; and the types of health insurance coverage guides currently available on the Internet.
  • Created a website/online coverage guide that includes a user’s path from public programs through direct pay options.
  • Reported on four key themes that emerged from the focus groups: Education; Affordability; Relationship building; and Policy.