Expanding Health Care Coverage

Project Title

Applying Technology to Increase Health Insurance Enrollment

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Date Awarded

July 21, 2009








Approximately one million New Yorkers are estimated to be eligible for public health insurance but are not enrolled.

To help reach these people, New York State designates a network of “facilitated enrollers” (FEs) to identify and assist eligible individuals with signing up for public health insurance programs such as Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and Family Health Plus. Public Health Solutions (PHS) has been an FE since 2001 and is active in Kings County, New York County, and Queens County. Until recently, FEs had to rely on an entirely paper-based process that is time-consuming, error-prone, and redundant. For this grant, PHS was able to fully implement an electronic application process. As a result, the number of daily applications completed per FE increased from 4.8 to 5.9—a 24% increase.

New York State-designated “facilitated enrollers” currently navigate a complex, time-consuming, error-prone, and redundant paper-based system to enroll eligible individuals in public health insurance programs. This grant will allow Public Health Solutions (PHS) to establish a financially sustainable electronic application process resulting in a 40% increase in enrollment, and significant cost savings and efficiencies.

Approximately 1 million New Yorkers are estimated to be eligible for public health insurance but are not enrolled. Until recently, enrollment required applicants to enter the same information multiple times by hand, and enrollers to hand-deliver batches of applications to a central location. The New York City Human Resources Administration has started to accept and process electronic applications to address the inefficiencies of the paper-based system. To take advantage of this change, PHS will purchase the technology necessary to implement an automated application process, including certified software, laptops, scanners and printers. It will also provide a report on practical lessons learned during the transition in order to assist facilitated enrollers considering electronic automation.

Read the report associated with this grant, “Increasing Health Insurance Enrollment in Technology.”