Expanding Health Care Coverage

Project Title

Cover New York: A Visualization for Health Reform

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Date Awarded

July 12, 2013


Outside New York State




In the months leading up to the implementation of health reform’s coverage expansions, public awareness about health reform remained low.

An urgent need existed to stimulate interest in the forthcoming opportunity for 1.2 million New Yorkers to gain coverage. Creative tools that raised awareness and made information accessible to the public and policymakers were especially important at this critical moment in time. In 2012, That Design Firm launched an online visualization, or interactive computer graphic, on health reform in Illinois; it won second place in the Civic Data Challenge, a national competition focused on turning raw data into useful applications that influence policy decisions. NYHealth awarded That Design Firm a grant to develop a visualization for New York State using data compiled by the Urban Institute that estimated the number of New Yorkers who would gain coverage under Medicaid and private plan options and of those who would remain uninsured.

NYHealth anticipated that the visualization would function as a tool to target resources, motivate enrollment efforts, and help navigators and others on the ground to refine or revise their outreach. The visualization also is linked to community-level demographic data from the Urban Institute analysis, including income levels; race and ethnicity; language; health status; gender; and level of education. It was launched in the early fall to coincide with the opening of the State’s Health Benefit Exchange and the launch of new coverage options. The timing of this launch spurred interest in the Exchange at the moment when media and public attention were at its height. This tool can assist Exchange officials and advocates in identifying Exchange successes, but it also can identify—geographically and demographically—where enrollment is lagging and can be improved.