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DiNapoli report: Racial disparities persist despite NY’s uninsured rates decline

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  • Staff Report 

According to a recent analysis by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, the percentage of New Yorkers without health insurance saw a steady decline from 2010 to 2021, reaching 5.2% in 2021. This figure is significantly below the national average of 8.6% and is nearly half of the state’s rate in 2010, which stood at 11.9%. This favorable trend can be attributed to New York’s higher engagement in public health insurance programs, covering 4 in 10 state residents in 2021, tying the state with Connecticut for the 10th lowest uninsured rate in the nation.


However, the data indicates persistent disparities in insurance coverage, with Black, Asian, and Latino communities seeing higher uninsured rates. In 2021, while only 3% of white residents lacked insurance, this figure stood at 10% for Hispanic, and 6% for both Black and Asian New Yorkers. Households with an annual income bracket of $25,000 to $49,000 also reported higher uninsured rates.

DiNapoli commented on the positive effects of public policies over the last decade, emphasizing the necessity for “transparency and reporting” as New York proceeds with its reevaluation of eligibility for public health insurance. This reevaluation will help understand the potential implications for coverage rates across different racial and ethnic groups and assess the impact on the state’s financial budget.

Nationally, 67% and 65.9% of residents in New York have private health insurance. However, the rise in public health programs at both state and federal levels has significantly curbed the uninsured number. New York’s Medicaid enrollment rose from 20.2% in 2010 to 27.7% in 2021, consistently outpacing the national rates. With Medicaid enrollment hitting a record in 2021, reflecting pandemic-driven increases, DiNapoli urges robust outreach and innovative solutions, like the proposed waiver to extend the Essential Plan, to further expand New York’s insured population.



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