Press Release: New York’s Uninsured Rate Drops, Despite Increases in Most Other States

Posted September 11, 2019 by Amanda Dunker

Albany, NY – Health Care for All New York is delighted to announce that more New Yorkers have health insurance than ever before – and that New York was one of only three states where more people have health insurance this year than last.

“While the rest of the country is experiencing declines in coverage, New York has managed to decrease the proportion of uninsured New Yorkers from 5.7% to 5.4%.” said Elisabeth R. Benjamin, MSPH, JD Vice President of Health Initiatives at the Community Service Society of New York and a co-founder of Health Care for All New York.  “Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act—and most importantly, New York’s roll-out of the Essential Plan, the State has cut the number of people without health coverage in half.”

New York is fortunate to have committed State leaders who have adopted the following consumer-friendly measures:

  • Adopting the ACA’s Basic Health Plan option, branded as the Essential Plan, which offers no-deductible high-quality care to individuals and family below 200% of the federal poverty level ($25,000 annually for an individual). So far nearly, 800,000 New Yorkers have enrolled in New York’s wildly popular Essential Plan.
  • Providing one-stop shopping through the New York State of Health. New Yorkers can apply for a full spectrum of coverage including Medicaid, the Essential Plan, and Qualified Health Plans in one place.
  • Providing robust Navigator assistance to people in every part of New York State
  • Fighting federal sabotage by disallowing the sale of short-term plans and maintaining a reasonable open enrollment period.

Five percent is a major improvement, but it still means over a million New Yorkers live with the uncertainty and risk of being uninsured. “While it’s no surprise that New York is leading the nation in insurance coverage, New York still lags behind California in ensuring that each and every resident, regardless of immigration status has access to the health insurance they need to stay healthy.  At a time when our immigrant communities are faced with ongoing federal attacks, pushing them into the shadows often without access to programs to support their families, it’s more important than ever to guarantee that every New Yorker can thrive by championing programs and policies that make healthcare accessible to all,” said Seongeun Chun, MPH, Senior Manager of Health Policy of New York Immigration Coalition.

New York can fix this by:

  • Opening the Essential Plan to all New Yorkers regardless of immigration status
  • Providing new funding for the Navigator program to target communities with higher than average numbers of uninsured people.
  • Creating a state-funded premium subsidy funded through a state-individual mandate to replace the federal individual mandate.
  • Adopting consumer protections against medical debt related to New York’s out-of-control health prices.