Expanding Health Care Coverage

Project Title

Insurance Coverage

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Date Awarded

November 15, 2007


North Country






The goal of this grant to the St. Lawrence County Health Initiative and the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department was to increase the number of small businesses that offer affordable health coverage and the number of residents enrolled in public and private insurance.

This project systematically identified uninsured residents at two points of contact—the health care system and worksites—and provided education and assistance to individuals who qualified for health coverage.

Covering 2,800 square miles of Northern New York, St. Lawrence County’s geographical spread often creates fragmentation of services and barriers for its businesses and residents to access and learn about available programs. The county ranks 60th out of 62 counties in lowest per capita income and has a higher prevalence of diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and heart disease. A recent household survey revealed that 44% of working poor households in St. Lawrence County include at least one uninsured adult. This project will attempt to enroll more individuals in public health insurance programs for which they are eligible.

Working together, St. Lawrence County Health Initiative and St. Lawrence County Public Health Department will launch an initiative aimed at increasing coverage among St. Lawrence County uninsured residents. Partnering with the Chamber of Commerce, they will survey county businesses and provide informational outreach packets to those businesses not offering insurance, highlighting Family Health Plus and Healthy NY, along with private plans offered through the Chamber of Commerce and others. Working with the five hospitals in the county, the St. Lawrence County Health Initiative will provide assistance to uninsured patients in identifying and applying for public and private insurance programs for which they might be eligible. These efforts are expected to result in coverage for some 350 individuals.