Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced that the Brooklyn Alliance, the not-for-profit arm of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, has been selected by the NYS Department of Health to develop, implement and operate the "In-Person Assistor/Navigator Program" for Kings County.
The IPA/Navigator Program was created in response to upcoming changes under the Affordable Care Act and will provide access, information and enrollment for health insurance services to Brooklyn residents and businesses beginning later this year.
The Alliance was one of 50 organizations selected to administer the Navigator Health program throughout New York state.
"This is a major initiative in New York state history, and we are enthusiastic that we were selected. We are committed to lending a helping hand to Brooklyn businesses, and countless Brooklyn residents, currently without affordable options for coverage," said Carlo A. Scissura, president and CEO. "Thank you to Governor Cuomo and the Department of Health for allowing us to expand our services to the Brooklyn business communities and its residents as well," Scissura added.
As is evidenced by the Chamber's Annual Membership Survey, the cost of providing health insurance for employees is a significant obstacle to doing business in New York State. For the past five years, this issue has consistently ranked as the number one problem being faced by small businesses.
Additionally, statistics show that Kings County has among the highest uninsured populations in the state, with more than 55,000 children and 387,000 adults ages 19-64 without insurance as of 2009.
In its Navigator role, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce will expand its suite of services by providing direct support to small businesses and individuals seeking information and access to affordable health insurance options.
The Brooklyn Public Library system will play an integral role as a community partner on this initiative.
Satellite offices will be located at the Sunset Park, Marcy, Bushwick, Greenpoint, East Flatbush, Mapleton, Flatbush and Kings Highway branches, where there are significant access barriers to insurance for small businesses and their employees.
"Brooklyn Public Library is uniquely situated to connect Brooklynites with services and benefits that can improve their lives. The Library is thrilled to partner with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce to help patrons enroll in health insurance services through the Affordable Care Act," said Linda E. Johnson, president and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library.