Empowering Health Care Consumers

Project Title

An Advocacy Agenda to Empower Health Care Consumers Across New York State, Phase 3

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Empowering Health Care Consumers

Date Awarded

December 13, 2021








Health Care for All New York (HCFANY) has worked to advance the consumer voice on issues related to promoting health information transparency and engaging patients as partners in decision-making—key goals of NYHealth’s Consumer Empowerment program.

With previous NYHealth support in 2018 and 2020, it led consumer advocacy campaigns that successfully advocated for the State’s establishment of the Essential Plan, which covers more than 900,000 New Yorkers and saves the State about $1 billion. HCFANY has also engaged in health insurance premium rate reviews to curb rate increases, and most recently has developed and advocated for policy solutions to reduce unfair medical debt practices. In 2021, NYHealth awarded HCFANY, through fiscal sponsor Hispanic Federation, a grant to continue its advocacy campaign to empower health care consumers in New York State.

Under this grant, HCFANY harnessed its momentum to further build upon and advance its consumer advocacy agenda. It advocated for State adoption of new systems for addressing health inequities. HCFANY pushed for reforms that support the viability of safety-net hospitals, eliminate unfair consumer billing practices, and expand quality affordable health coverage. HCFANY employed a range of strategies to achieve these goals, including policy research and analysis; policy campaigns; consumer engagement and grassroots organizing; and coalition-building. It convened diverse stakeholders to promote goals and engage consumers to participate in focus groups, public engagement processes, and personal storytelling. It also leveraged other statewide consumer engagement initiatives, including We the Patients NY, to actively integrate patient voices into its efforts.