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NYS Health Foundation Highlights Proposals to Increase Coverage

We know that since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate in New York State has decreased from 11% to about 5%. Approximately 1.1 million New Yorkers remain without health insurance. So who are they and how do we get them covered?

More than 30% of uninsured New Yorkers are currently eligible for Medicaid or the Essential Health Plan. Undocumented immigrants, who are typically blocked by law from accessing certain Affordable Care Act coverage provisions, including through the New York State of Health Marketplace, make up about 40% of the uninsured population. A smaller percentage are lower-income individuals who don’t qualify for low-cost or no-cost plans like the Essential Plan and can’t afford insurance. The rest are middle and high income earner who have chosen not to purchase coverage.

The New York State Health Foundation today released Policy Tracker: Proposals to Expand Health Insurance Coverage in New York State, analysis of four current proposals that aim to increase coverage. The report outlines each plan, who would be eligible, how it would be financed and how much it would cost.

There are two proposals that, if combined, would cover the majority of New Yorkers who are currently uninsured: Essential Plan expansion for undocumented immigrants and Essential Plan expansion for lower-income New Yorkers. The two plans would not require federal approval and come with an overall cost of approximately $664.5 million. Compare than to the $326.5 billion price tag RAND estimated for the New York Health Act.