Get Direct Care Workers Covered
Expanding Health Care Coverage
July 19, 2013
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, NYHealth 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. NYHealth awarded Direct Care Alliance (DCA) a grant to participate in this initiative.
With NYHealth funding, grantees of this initiative undertook a comprehensive range of consumer engagement activities and enroll uninsured New Yorkers into coverage. Specifically, DCA sought to conduct outreach and education to direct care workers throughout New York State, including workers in both rural and urban communities, and to enroll direct care workers and members of their communities into the New York Health Benefit Exchange. DCA partnered with CSS to build the program infrastructure, create a tracking database, and develop educational materials. DCA sought to provide direct care workers with enrollment assistance through in-person support at community, employer, and DCA-organized events; refer consumers in need of specialized assistance to appropriate entities; and perform education and retention activities to promote enrollment and facilitate the retention of first-year participants.
NYHealth originally awarded DCA a grant of $115,000 to achieve these goals. During the course of the grant period, however, DCA faced restructuring challenges and was unable to complete all of its grant activities. As a result, the final grant amount was revised to $74,041.