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Internship Opportunity

Office of Citywide Health Insurance Access Internship Opportunities 

The Human Resources Administration's Office of Citywide Health Insurance Access (OCHIA) is currently accepting applications for internships.  This is an exciting opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students interested in helping to implement Mayor Bloomberg's healthcare agenda.  OCHIA's mission is to expand access to health insurance for all New Yorkers.  In fulfilling this mission, we are guided by two distinct, yet related priorities - ensuring that uninsured New Yorkers who are eligible for public health insurance programs such as Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus and Medicaid are enrolled and expanding access to affordable health insurance for the City's small businesses, sole proprietors and working individuals. 

At OCHIA, interns will work on special health insurance expansion projects targeting children and adults.  Placements are available in the Office's three units-Public Health Insurance, Public/Private Health Insurance Work Supports, and Policy Analysis and Research. 

To apply, send a resume and cover letter to Alpha Brown at brownal@hra.nyc.gov with the subject "Internship."  In the cover letter, please write about your qualifications for this internship and indicate which project(s) interest you most.   



PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS 

Projects related to NYC Health Insurance Link, a New Health Insurance Consumer Tool 

The Office of Citywide Health Insurance Access has recently launched a new website called NYC Health Insurance Link (NYCHIL). This site was created to help small businesses and individuals in the five boroughs find health insurance options that meet their specific needs and budgets.  It is the only website of its kind which shows small business owners and individuals in NYC a wide range of health insurance options side-by-side and enables them to compare the benefits and costs of plans available from virtually every New York City insurance carrier on an unbiased basis.  The site also contains comprehensive educational information on health insurance basics.

Summer internship projects that will focus on further development of the content and design of the online tool will include but not be limited to the following:

(1) Increase Utilization of NYCHIL by Small Businesses 

Over 50 percent of the uninsured low-wage workers in New York City are employed by small businesses.  Interns working on this project will develop ways to reach and increase use of NYCHIL by small business owners and employees at businesses that do not offer health insurance.  Activities may include identifying barriers to information, developing and implementing outreach strategies, and developing recommendations for marketing or changes to the website aimed at increasing small business use of NYCHIL. 

(2) Marketing NYCHIL Through Social Media

This work involves research and analysis of the Social Media business/usage in today's marketplace to determine which platforms could potentially be most effective for use by New York City Health Insurance Link. Interns will explore current social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs and the appropriateness of each for building awareness and valuable customer relations among the site's target users. Interns will continuously track social media trends and become knowledgeable on implementing various platforms in order to communicate this knowledge to other department members. Interns will participate in prioritizing steps to integrate new media into site development strategy while ensuring that any new platforms follow New York City social media policy and usage guidelines. Ongoing work also involves tracking the effectiveness of any new platforms initiated for NYCHIL and providing reports for the group on a regular basis.

(3) Grant Writing for NYCHIL

In this project, interns will research grant availability to help secure funds for future development of the website.  The project involves grant research, proposal writing, and follow-up with grant makers. Preference will be given to applicants with grant-writing skills.

Summer internship projects that will support other work of the Office will include but not be limited to the following:

Uninsured Workers 

Almost two-thirds of New York City's uninsured adults are employed.  Studies indicate that certain workers are more likely to be uninsured, such as non-standard workers, low-wage workers, undocumented immigrant workers, and small business employees.  This project involves conducting analyses and research on the characteristics of uninsured workers and options to expand access to affordable health insurance options for these individuals.  Interns working on this project will help develop policy and outreach strategies to increase health insurance coverage among uninsured workers and prepare related briefing materials.  Applicants interested in this project should have excellent data analysis and superior quantitative and qualitative research skills.

Young Adults & Disconnected Youth

With 30 percent uninsured, young adults make up the largest age-group of uninsured Americans.  A segment of this population, “disconnected youth”, 16-to-24-year-olds who are neither attending school nor participating in the labor force, may be less likely to have health insurance due to their disconnection from school and work.  New York City has the highest number of disconnected youth of any major city in the U.S.  In this project, interns would investigate the effectiveness of disseminating health insurance options to disconnected youth through social networking websites, including myspace.com and facebook.com, and other youth-friendly methods, like youtube.com. They will also be responsible for developing young adult content, including content for disconnected youth, to be added to OCHIA’s website to engage young adults in obtaining and learning about health insurance options available to them.

Family Planning Benefit Program

The Family Planning Benefit Program (FPBP) is a free and completely confidential New York State program that provides family planning services to teens, women and men who meet certain income and residency requirements, and who are not enrolled in Medicaid or Family Health Plus.  Interns working on this project will 1) work in high schools with school-based health centers to enroll teenagers in FPBP and provide them with information about Child Health Plus and Medicaid; 2) conduct interviews and/or focus groups with teenagers/young adults to find out what type of health insurance messages resonate with them and through what medium they are best delivered; and 3) educate guidance counselors, coaches and other key school staff about health insurance options available to current students and young adults.

Policy Analysis & Research

This work focuses on analysis and research of health insurance coverage trends in NYC in order to (a) assess the potential impact of policies on NYC residents and small businesses; and (b) inform policy and outreach activities.  Internship work includes ongoing review and analysis of health insurance information for New York City, including developing queries of the American Community Survey and other data sources to gain more information about how federal health care reform may affect health insurance coverage in NYC.  Interns also analyze provisions of health care reform, both legislation and guidance, and create consumer-friendly content for inclusion on NYC Health Insurance Link.  Finally, the policy work includes tracking federal and state implementation of health care reform as well as analyzing other health insurance-related proposed legislation and regulations for potential impact on coverage for NYC residents.  Preference will be given to applicants with strong data analysis, critical thinking, writing and research skills.


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