NYS Uninsured Rate Continues to Decline

October 7, 2019

New York State’s uninsured rate continued its downward trend, falling to 5.4% in 2018, according to recently released Census Bureau data. This is roughly half the rate prior to implementation of the Affordable Care Act and significantly lower than the national rate of 8.9%. In total, 1,041,233 New Yorkers were uninsured last year.

United States and New York State Uninsured Rate, 2010-2018

Source: United States Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2010-2018

The majority of New York State’s uninsured population resides in New York City (57.6%), while roughly 21% of the uninsured live on Long Island and in the Northern Metropolitan Region, which includes Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties.

Nearly 90% of New York’s uninsured population are adults aged 19-64 and more than a quarter of the uninsured are 26-34 years old. The relatively low uninsured rates among the elderly and children are the result of the elderly population’s access to Medicare and low-income children having access to subsidized coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

More than half (61.0%) of New York’s uninsured are employed, with only 6% of the uninsured being unemployed. The remainder are not in the labor force. The uninsured are predominantly poor and modest-income individuals—43.4% of the uninsured have incomes below 200% of the Federal poverty level (FPL) and 77.6% have incomes below 400% of the FPL. As a result, the Kaiser Family Foundation has estimated that more than one-third of New York’s uninsured are eligible for Medicaid coverage.

Finally, while roughly one-half of New York’s uninsured population are native-born citizens, non-citizens are disproportionately uninsured. One-fifth of the State’s non-citizens are uninsured.