Community Service Society (CSS)

The Community Service Society of New York (CSS) is committed to the goal of increasing access to quality, affordable health coverage in order to improve individual and community health outcomes, promote health equity, and alleviate barriers to employment. To achieve this goal, CSS launched a comprehensive campaign around health care access to address the nearly 2.6 million New Yorkers who lack health insurance. Working statewide with local community partners, our aim is to build public will and advocate for significant government support for needed health reforms. See below for more information about CSS’s recent activities, accomplishments, and advocacy work and tools!

ACA Implementation

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  • CSS To Host ACA Training

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    NY: The Community Service Society will host an ACA training on October 15th. The training includes an overview of: the law and its requirements; the New York Marketplace; financial assistance; and enrollment procedures. Registration is available now.

  • CSS to Host Medicaid for MAGI Population Training

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    NY: The Community Service Society will host a training on May 28, 2014 on Medicaid eligibility. The training will highlight how to calculate household income and composition under the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) methodology and discuss immigrant eligibility, the Medicaid benefit package, applying for Medicaid through the state’s Marketplace, and managed care provisions.  Registration is available now and costs $50.  

  • CSS To Host New York-Focused ACA Training

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    NY: The Community Service Society of New York (CSS) will host a training for social service professionals about the ACA and its impact on New Yorkers on February 12, 2014. The training will provide information on: coverage opportunities; financial assistance for low-income populations; available health plans; consumer protections; and enrolling in the New York State of Health Marketplace.  Registration is available now for a $50 fee. 

  • KidsWell NM and NY Grantees Discuss ACA Affordability

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    NM & NY: Two KidsWell grantees—Sireesha Manne, staff attorney for the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, and Elisabeth Benjamin, vice president for the Community Service Society (CSS)—were quoted in Stateline about the affordability of the ACA.  Manne stated, “For those with very low wages trying to raise kids, after paying for housing, electricity, food, transportation, and child care, asking people to pay another $50 or $100 a month, that’s just out of reach.”  Benjamin noted the variation in cost of living across the U.S., “What’s poor in Mississippi is different from what’s poor in New York state.  People have so little disposable income in New York City and other urban areas, but the law doesn’t do geographic indexing.”

  • KidsWell New York Responds to Exchange Open Enrollment Kick-Off!!

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    NY: The Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy’s (SCAA) President and CEO Kate Breslin issued a statement  on launch of the New York Health Exchange Marketplace in which she noted that Marketplaces are, “a smart way to strengthen families and communities across the state.”


    Health Care For All New York (HCFANY) launched its new website in celebration of the kick-off of the Health Insurance Marketplaces. The new website includes health policy resources, the HCFANY blog that provides health policy updates, a story bank that features personal stories from New Yorkers and a list of upcoming HCFANY events.


    Community Service Society of New York (CSS) posted an infographic that provides insight on the new health insurance options available starting January 1st, including information on how to apply and enroll for coverage through the new Marketplaces.

  • CCS & HCFANY Applaud Lower Healthcare Coverage Rates in New York

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    NY: Elizabeth Benjamin, vice president for health initiatives with the Community Service Society of New York (CSS), was quoted in a New York Times article highlighting that New Yorkers will see a drop of at least 50% in health insurance coverage rates due to the Exchange. “Health insurance has suddenly become affordable in New York,” said Benjamin. “It’s not bargain-basement prices, but we’re going from Bergdorf [Goodman]’s to Filene’s [Basement] here.”

    Health Care For All New York (HCFANY) also published a blog post celebrating the approved Exchange rates. The post highlighted their efforts to advocate for low non-Exchange plans by submitting comments to the New York State Department of Financial Services.

  • CCS President Spoke on Consumer Education and Engagement for State-Based Insurance Exchange

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    NY: Elizabeth Benjamin, Community Service Society’s (CSS) vice president of health initiatives, spoke at an event hosted by New York State’s (NYS) Health Foundation focusing on a consumer education and engagement plan for the New York state-based Exchange. 

  • CSS Vice President Commented on SCOTUS Ruling

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    Elizabeth Benjamin of CSS was featured on a live streaming special broadcast of Democracy Now and featured on a Crain’s New York Business blog post, Greg David on New York
  • CSS Issued Press Release on SCOTUS Ruling on ACA

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    CSS issued a press release highlighting that the decision ensures that the state and nation will be physically and economically healthier by saving lives and taxpayer dollars that previously went to providing coverage to uninsured New York residents.
  • CSS Released a Brief on Potential Outcomes of SCOTUS Ruling

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    In advance of the Supreme Court ruling, Community Service Society (CSS) released a briefing on the six potential outcomes of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the ACA and how each outcome may affect New York.  The briefing also provides an overview of how the state has been impacted and benefited since the ACA was enacted in March 2010.
  • CYF Released Informational Guides on the ACA

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    The Children, Youth and Families (CYF) Task Force, organized by the Community Service Society of NY (CSS), the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy (SCAA) and the Children’s Defense Fund-NY (CDF-NY), released three Quick Sheets on how the ACA will affect: (1) children’s oral health; (2) children’s behavioral health; and (3) promoting “seamless” coverage.
  • KidsWell New York Partners Held Meeting on State-Based Exchange

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    The Children, Youth & Families Task Force of Health Care For All New York (HCFANY), in collaboration with the Children’s Defense Fund - NY, Community Service Society of New York, and the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, held a meeting on May 9, 2012 in Albany. The agenda focused on the newly signed Executive Order to establish a state-based Exchange. In addition, Judy Arnold of the New York Department of Health will be featured as a speaker. Registration is available here.
  • HCFANY Highlighted Benjamin's Appearance on Brian Lehrer Show

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    HCFANY published a blog post highlighting a guest appearance by Elisabeth Benjamin, Vice President of Community Service Society (CSS) and co-founder of HCFANY, on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show to discuss Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order and how the Exchange will affect the state. In her comments, Ms. Benjamin specifically focuses on how the Exchange will affect consumers, why the Governor ultimately issued an Executive Order, and how the Exchange will operate.
  • CSS Vice President Participated in ACA Briefing on New York Implementation Activities

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    Elizabeth Benjamin of CSS will participate in a briefing (hosted by the Greater New York Hospital Association on April 20th) to discuss New York’s current ACA implementation activities and projections as to how the activities will affect the state’s insurance markets.
  • CSS Vice President Discussed Concerns Regarding State Based Insurance Program

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    Elisabeth Benjamin of CSS was quoted in an article expressing her concerns regarding Healthy New York, a state based insurance program for individuals and small programs, only admitting new enrollees who enroll in the program’s high-deductible health plan. This plan requires single enrollees to pay a premium of $1,200 and families pay double that amount. Currently Healthy New York is limited to individuals within 250% of the FPL, has 178,000 enrollees in its standard plan, and it receives $160 million annually from the state.
  • CSS Provided Update on Coverage Benefits and Cost Savings of a State-Run Basic Health Plan

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    The Community Service Society provided an update to its June 2011 analysis “Bridging the Gap: Exploring the Basic Health Insurance Option for New York.” The report examines the most recent data on the coverage benefits for individuals and the cost savings for the State of establishing a state-run BHP. According to the new analysis, creation of a BHP would allow approximately 617,500 New Yorkers to access more affordable coverage while providing coverage for an additional 100,000 uninsured individuals. In addition, a BHP could save the state roughly $954 million in annual health care costs.

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