People Without Health Insurance
What does this measure?
The percentage of people under 65 who are not covered by some form of health insurance, including public programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.
Why is this important?
Health insurance is critical to families' and individuals' access to care, financial security and peace of mind. Those without insurance may delay getting needed care and forgo preventive care altogether, which can lead to medical problems that are more serious and expensive to treat. Insurance allows the often-high cost of health services to be spread out over many years and facilitates risk-sharing across the population. Financial ruin can be the result if an uninsured family must cope with a major illness or injury. In addition, charity care provided by hospitals to those without insurance drives up the cost of private insurance and the tax burden.
How is the region performing?
In 2014, 8% of the region's residents under the age of 65 were without health insurance, equal to the statewide (excluding NYC) rate of 8%, and below the 14% national rate. The region's rate declined by 5 percentage points from 2008, greater than the 3-point decline at both the state and national levels. Ulster had the highest rate of uninsured residents (9%) in 2014, followed by Orange and Dutchess, each with rates of 8%.
Notes about the data
Comparable data not available for earlier years.