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 Ulster County performing?
In 2014, 9% of Ulster County residents under age 65 lacked health insurance, lower than the national rate of 14% and slightly higher than the regional and statewide (excluding NYC) rate of 8%. Ulster's rate decreased 5 percentage-points from 2008, equal to the regional decrease over the same timeframe. Since 2008, Ulster has consistently had a slightly higher rate of uninsured residents than neighboring Dutchess and Orange counties (both 8%, in 2014).
Notes about the data
Comparable data not available for earlier years.