Expanding Health Care Coverage

Grantee Name

The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Inc.

Funding Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Publication Date

June 2011

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

October 1, 2008–December 7, 2009


The number of New Yorkers getting health insurance via the individual market dropped from 750,000 in 1993 to less than 100,000 in 2008, according to estimates from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Inc.

In the second of two grants from the New York Health Foundation’s Coverage Consortium initiative, the Manhattan Institute analyzed reasons why participation in New York State’s individual, direct-pay insurance market has dropped so dramatically. Using both qualitative and quantitative research methods, the Manhattan Institute examined how regulations have affected price, participation, and competition in this market and developed concrete recommendations for revitalizing this sector of the health insurance market.

This project was part of a larger NYHealth Coverage Consortium that funded 10 grants to seven universities, policy institutes, and community agencies across the State, supporting projects that could inform State health reform efforts, offer ways to streamline enrollment in public programs, significantly reduce costs and improve quality, and test ideas for expanding coverage among small employers, sole proprietors, and self-employed people.

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

Read about the first of two grants to the Manhattan Institute from the NYHealth Coverage Consortium initiative.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Contracted with Zogby International (a polling firm) to survey 1,000 non-poor uninsured adults about their attitudes toward health insurance, willingness to pay, preferences, etc.
  • Convened three video-conference focus groups of uninsured New Yorkers to learn what they wanted from insurance plans, how well they understood existing options, and their reactions to plans available in nearby states.
  • Convened a conference of policymakers, the media, and the public to prompt discussion on how to open the private individual insurance market in New York State.
  • Expanded its original scope of work to include microsimulations of four policy options.
  • Produced a 2009 report, “Healthier Choice: An Examination of Market-Based Reforms for New York’s Uninsured” that reported findings and provided key recommendations.