Promoting the Expansion of Health Insurance in New York State
Expanding Health Care Coverage
July 1, 2007
Approximately 2.5 million New Yorkers lacked health insurance in 2007, according to estimates from the United Hospital Fund of New York. Public and private programs exist to increase coverage, but policymakers face several challenges in expanding coverage through these programs, including how to enroll and retain people in public programs, how to create options for low-wage workers, and how to enroll higher income people who go without coverage. In the first of two grants from the New York Health Foundation’s Coverage Consortium initiative, the United Hospital Fund analyzed a multi-staged action plan to promote the expansion of insurance in New York State. It also examined the private insurance market in New York through an objective analysis of the health care market and health care organizations, including self-funded arrangements, and reviewed relevant insurance laws and regulations.
This project was part of a larger NYHealth Coverage Consortium that funded 10 grants to seven universities, policy institutes, and community agencies across the State, supporting projects that could inform State health reform efforts, offer ways to streamline enrollment in public programs, significantly reduce costs and improve quality, and test ideas for expanding coverage among small employers, sole proprietors, and self-employed people.
Read an NYHealth special report that contains a summary of findings from this consortium.
Read about the second of two grants to the United Hospital Fund from the NYHealth Coverage Consortium initiative.
The Blueprint for Universal Health Insurance Coverage in New York, issued by the United Hospital Fund (UHF) and The Commonwealth Fund in December 2006, modeled a series of policy options for achieving near universal coverage, including projections of how many new persons would be insured, at what incremental cost, and how that cost would be shared among individuals, employers, and government. UHF will continue this important work under this grant.
The UHF project team plans to continue the work of the Blueprint by analyzing a multi-staged action plan to promote the expansion of insurance in New York State. UHF will modify and refine the universal coverage scenarios presented in the original Blueprint, as well as model alternative approaches.
The UHF project team will prepare an analytic report detailing health insurance coverage profiles and trends for New York State—both New York City and the rest of the State—and the nation as a whole, using the Current Population Survey (CPS). UHF will use these data to analyze issues and trends important to the formulation of sound public policies.
The UHF project team will examine the private insurance market in New York through an objective analysis of the health care market and health care organizations, including self-funded arrangements, and will review relevant insurance laws and regulations. Additionally, the UHF project team will collaborate with the Rockefeller Institute to develop a more in-depth analysis of the individual and small group markets and identify opportunities for reforms in this area.
To effectively communicate the lessons learned from this project and other NYHealth Coverage Consortium-funded projects, UHF plans to convene several meetings across New York State with a wide array of stakeholders that includes community advocates, policymakers, and the public at large. Recognizing that the issues and concerns among the range of stakeholder groups will vary across the State, UHF plans to host a series of discussion forums in upstate and western New York. To engage with State-level administrators, the UHF project team will convene meetings for the Department of Insurance on key issues pertaining to coverage expansion. UHF also plans to host invitational policy roundtables with key experts in the insurance arena to discuss coverage expansion. Finally, the team will convene a meeting to highlight the coverage models explored in Columbia University’s project, Improving the Analysis of Health Insurance Expansion Options for New York State.
This project is part of the NYS Health Coverage Consortium.