New York Protected Coverage Gains During 2019

Posted September, 18 2020 by Amanda Dunker

New York State’s uninsured rate hit an all-time low of 5.2 percent in 2019, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. New York has made continual coverage gains since 2010, when 11.9 percent of New Yorkers were uninsured. Approximately 68 percent of covered New Yorkers had private plans, while 40 percent had some type of public coverage.

New York had the 8th highest rate of insurance coverage in the United States (after Massachusetts, 3 percent; the District of Columbia, 3.5 percent; Rhode Island, 4.1 percent; Hawaii, 4.2 percent; Vermont, 4.5 percent; Minnesota, 4.9 percent; and Iowa, 5.0 percent). Twenty states experienced significant increases in their uninsured rates. For children, New York has the 5th best insurance coverage in the country with only 2.4 percent of people under 19 uninsured (after Massachusetts, 1.5 percent; Rhode Island, 1.9 percent; the District of Columbia, 2.0 percent; and Vermont, 2.1 percent).

Coverage changes between 2018 and 2019 were insignificant in most counties, but there were significant coverage gains in Erie, New York, Orange, Wayne, and Warren Counties (see table below). Only one county, Tompkins, experienced a significant increase in uninsured people (from 2.3 percent without insurance to 3.7 percent).

CountyUninsured, 2018Uninsured, 2019
New York5.2%4.5%

Queens County continues to have the highest rate of uninsured residents at 9.3 percent. It is followed by Cattaraugus County (8.3 percent), the Bronx (7.9 percent), St. Lawrence County (7 percent), and Kings County (6.3 percent).

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic means that 2020 may look very different. But New York’s leaders have taken many steps to protect New Yorkers from coverage losses, including extending open enrollment in the New York State of Health for the entire years and automatically renewing Medicaid, Essential Plan, and Child Health Plus for thousands of New Yorkers.

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