Single Source Procurement: NYS Health Benefit Exchange Navigators

Pursuant to New York State Finance Law § 163.10(b), The New York State Department of Health is presenting the following summary of relevant circumstances, and material and substantial reasons why a competitive procurement was not feasible.

Central New York Health Systems Agency (CNYSHA), is the In-Person Assistor (IPA)/Navigator organization currently approved to provide health insurance application assistance in Onondaga County. CNYHSA has requested that the Department transition the responsibilities of the IPA/Navigator program to a different agency. Their request is a result of a reorganization of the agency's operations. Due to this reorganization, CNYHSA will merge with another company, Health Advancement Collaboration of CNY, which will essentially dissolve the CNYHSA. The IPA/Navigator program no longer fits within the mission of the new corporate entity.

The IPA/Navigator program contracted with two successful grantees in every county in the state with the exception of Yates which only has one organization. Specifically in Onondaga County, there were two applications submitted under the procurement, one from CNYHSA and one from Community Services Society of New York (CSSNY). Both organizations were awarded contracts which provide coverage for Onondaga County. CNYHSA subcontracts with The Salvation Army, Greater Syracuse Services Corp. d/b/a Benefit Specialists of New York and Syracuse University – Southside Innovation Center to provide application assistance in Onondaga County. CSSNY subcontracts with Syracuse Northeast Community Center which provides services only in Onondaga County and AIDS Community Resources which provides assistance in nine counties including Onondaga.

One of CNYHSA's subcontractors, The Salvation Army, was approached to assume their responsibilities under the IPA/Navigator contract. The Salvation Army has expressed their desire to continue their participation under the IPA/Navigator program. The Department is supportive of the Salvation Army assuming this contract for the remainder of the contract period, through September 30, 2018. As previously stated, there were no unsuccessful bidders in Onondaga County under the IPA/Navigator procurement. As the contract period for the IPA/Navigator program is from August 1, 2013 through September 30, 2018, a new procurement is not planned until mid to late 2017. The Department would like to maintain contracts with two IPA/Navigator agencies in Onondaga County as there are significant numbers of individuals assisted under each grantee. If only one agency was available to potential applicants in this county, there would be an unmet need from the public.

Assigning the contract from CNYHSA to The Salvation Army preserves the existing structure and relationships that are already in place, including trained staff that are now proficient in the application process. The Salvation Army intends on entering into subcontracts with Benefits Specialists of New York and Syracuse University – Southside Innovation Center. These agencies currently subcontract with CNYHSA under the IPA/Navigator program. The Department has determined this is the best option as it will allow the program to continue to provide the high level of service that is available to Onondaga residents in need of health insurance application assistance. Any alternatives would result in unwanted disruption and additional start-up costs.

Procurement / Program Name NYS Health Benefit Exchange Navigators
Contractor Name(s) Central New York Health Systems Agency & The Salvation Army
Contract Period 6/1/2015 – 9/30/2018
Contract Number(s) C028926A (Contract Assignment)