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Volunteer with Community Health Advocates!

Volunteer with CHA!

Help New Yorkers understand their health insurance and access the health care they need! Our volunteers assist New Yorkers whether on Medicaid, Medicare, commercial insurance, or uninsured. By staffing our toll-free statewide helpline, volunteers provide direct one-on-one assistance to individuals and families and make a difference in real peoples’ lives!

The Community Health Advocates (CHA) program, New York’s designated health insurance Consumer Assistance Program, helps New Yorkers get, understand, use, and keep their health insurance and access affordable health care. The CHA helpline is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. We are looking for volunteers who can work either one full day or two four-hour shifts per week.

Volunteer Responsibilities:

  • Answering CHA helpline phone calls
  • Conducting intake to gather necessary information from helpline callers
  • Providing information, advice, referrals, and informal advocacy services to helpline callers about their health insurance benefits and health care rights
  • Working closely with CHA staff to inform helpline callers about how their health insurance works and how to access affordable health care services
  • Database entry that includes detailed case notes
  • Carefully following client privacy protection guidelines

 

Preferred Skills and Interests:

  • Willing to learn a broad array of health law, health policy, and health advocacy
  • Interest in serving low-income populations
  • Strong customer service skills, including both listening and speaking skills (Competency in languages other than English a plus)
  • Proficient in data entry and Microsoft Word
  • Clear writing skills
  • Comfortable working independently with supervision as needed
  • Strong research skills and comfortable with online research
  • Available for an intensive training program and ongoing mini-trainings
  • Able to commit to volunteering approximately eight hours per week for at least six months

 

The Volunteer Experience

 

What our volunteers are saying:

CHA Volunteers

“CHA has provided me the opportunity to assist real people in important matters such as health care.  The CHA training and backup for volunteers is quite professional. The availability of knowledgeable supervisors to handle more sophisticated matters has proven to be 

quite valuable. In addition to being professional, the staff of CHA are nice people. I also get the sense that CHA personnel act as a team.” - Charles Chromow

“The people here are very nice, very smart, and incredibly accepting of different perspectives. I feel lucky to volunteer at CHA.” - Virginia Murphy 

“First and foremost, I have been impressed with the good work being done by CHA staff and volunteers since I started volunteering. CHA has developed a terrific "business model" for structuring an excellent consumer assistance program for health care and health insurance issues. Kudos to the entire staff for their ongoing efforts to do great things.” - Patty Nugent

Know someone who would make a great CHA volunteer? Download our brochure here.

Interested in volunteering?

  1. Email a statement of interest and a copy of your resume to healthvolunteer@cssny.org with the subject line “CHA Helpline Volunteer”.
  2. RSVP to attend an open house (the third Wednesday of every month, except for February, June, and September).
  3. Submit a volunteer application.
  4. Attend our intensive training (three per year – in January/February, June, and September).
  5. Get started!