Health Insurance Project

 
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Uninsured NYers

The proportion of uninsured New Yorkers declined from 11.9 percent in 2010 to 11.4 percent in 2011—or 2.2 million people—according to a U.S. Census Bureau report.

The Health Insurance Project works to identify ways to expand and strengthen public and private health insurance, fashioning solutions that help New Yorkers find or maintain appropriate coverage through informed policy discussion on coverage and emerging regulatory and service delivery issues. The Health Insurance Project also analyzes demographic data on coverage, health plan enrollment and financial results, and the insurance statutes and regulations unique to New York State.

Public and private insurance play central roles in the financing of health care. The private health insurance market is largely driven by employer-sponsored insurance, which offers health insurance to workers and their families. Low-income families and the disabled primarily receive coverage through the Medicaid program, which is jointly funded by the federal government, the state, and counties. The vast majority of the elderly population (age 65 and older) receive health insurance through the federal Medicare insurance program.

Approximately 10 million New Yorkers—60.7 percent of the nonelderly population—get health insurance through their employers, about half through insurance policies and the remainder though various self-insurance arrangements. Over 5 million New Yorkers are covered by Medicaid, including 2.8 million in managed care plans. Rising insurance costs and persistent high unemployment continue to erode private health insurance coverage: in 2011 roughly 15.1 percent of Americans were uninsured, including an estimated 2.2 million New Yorkers (11.4 percent).   

Many of the reforms established by the Affordable Care Act were designed to expand health insurance coverage and reduce overall health care costs. Key provisions—including enhanced consumer insurance protections, expanded public program eligibility, and the availability of federal tax credits to purchase insurance—will extend insurance coverage in New York to approximately one million additional covered lives when the law is fully implemented, according to one State study.

Contact: Peter Newell

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Public and Private Insurance Markets

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Health insurance data and analysis are the cornerstones of the Health Insurance Project’s work. By providing data on the uninsured and their characteristics and by conducting statistical analyses of the health insurance markets, the Fund helps policymakers craft targeted strategies to expand and maintain coverage.

Implementing Health Care Reform

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The Affordable Care Act has established a new federal overlay on state-regulated insurance markets, but has given states significant leeway in how to implement the new law’s provisions. As federal deadlines loom, the Health Insurance Project is analyzing complex federal guidance and helping policymakers design and implement approaches that work best for New York.