Expanding Health Care Coverage

Priority Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage



An estimated 1.2 million New Yorkers were expected to gain health insurance coverage once health reform was fully implemented. An October 2014 poll by NYHealth found that 92% of New Yorkers who became newly insured under health reform are completely or somewhat satisfied with their health insurance. To a large extent, the success of the Affordable Care Act depended on individuals and small businesses having good information and support to understand and navigate the new health care landscape. But awareness of health reform was low: only four in ten Americans knew that the Affordable Care Act was still law during implementation.

To advance the implementation of health reform in New York State, the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) supported a range of outreach and enrollment efforts to ensure that as many New Yorkers as possible gained health insurance coverage:

Small Business Assistance Program

With support from NYHealth, the Community Service Society expanded its Small Business Assistance Program, a network of organizations across New York State that helped small businesses get affordable health insurance and understand their options under the Affordable Care Act. These organizations provide education and assistance on topics such as the availability of tax credits for small businesses and options for health insurance for small businesses and their employees.

Learn more about the Small Business Assistance Program and view the map of where these organizations are located. 

Statewide Enrollment Network

NYHealth is supporting a statewide enrollment network of community-based organizations that conduct education, outreach, enrollment, and referrals, with a focus on communities known to be uninsured at disproportionately high rates: low-wage workers, immigrants, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender New Yorkers. The organizations participating in the network are trusted messengers in their communities and are well positioned to reach high-need populations with accurate, credible information about health insurance opportunities and enroll them in coverage.

Learn more about the Enrollment Network..

Watch firsthand video accounts from newly-insured New Yorkers who received enrollment assistance through the NYHealth-supported Enrollment Network.

Ambassadors for Coverage

NYHealth is supporting the Ambassadors for Coverage program through a grant to Empire Justice Center, which has selected 21 organizations to raise awareness about health insurance options in communities throughout New York State with high rates of uninsurance. These Ambassadors will conduct outreach, educate consumers about their options, encourage people to take the steps necessary to obtain health care coverage, and connect eligible New Yorkers to organizations that can help them enroll in an insurance plan. NYHealth awarded Empire Justice Center a phase 2 grant in 2014 and a phase 3 grant in 2015 to continue these efforts.

Learn more about the Ambassadors program and view these organizations.

Health Reform Visualization: CoverNYS

NYHealth has supported the development of a data visualization of New Yorkers who are expected to gain coverage as health reform is implemented. The visualization provided a snapshot of those who were estimated to gain coverage under public insurance or private plan options. Regional and demographic data are included to identify the areas and populations with the greatest potential for gains in health insurance coverage. State and local policymakers; organizations conducting enrollment; and health care advocates can use the interactive tool to better understand the health insurance landscape and opportunities for coverage in their community.

Are you uninsured and looking for health insurance coverage? To learn more about coverage options for which you may qualify, visit New York’s online health insurance marketplace, www.NYStateofHealth.ny.gov, or call its toll-free customer service line (Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.): 855-355-5777.

For more help finding the right coverage for you, contact Community Health Advocates at communityhealthadvocates.org or (888) 614-5400.