May 20, 2020

This time last year, New York celebrated its lowest rate of residents without health insurance to date at 5 percent. A historic low that is a continuation of nearly a decade of decline in people who lack health insurance, this record-breaking success set New York apart from the national trend of rising uninsured rates.

The public health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic threatens past success in reducing the rate of the uninsured in New York State. We must strengthen and protect the Medicaid program because the pandemic and recession will cause an unprecedented increase in the need for Medicaid coverage and services.

“The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted that our health insurance is only as good as that of the least insured person in our society. A year ago we celebrated a record high health insurance rate of 95 percent.  Now, with millions of New Yorkers becoming unemployed due to the pandemic mitigation, we might see uninsured rates spike. Bolstering Medicaid is crucial to preserving health coverage for New Yorkers and the COVID-19 public health response.”

Statement from Shamier Settle, State Policy Fellow, Fiscal Policy Institute

Read the brief.