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July 02, 2019

Results of the Campaign for New York Health Survey

Members of NYSARA participated in the health survey conducted by the CNYH.  CNYH completed 2,409 Healthcare Rights and Access Surveys with residents all over New York State. CNYH trained volunteers on how to implement the survey, and collected results in person, over the phone, and online, mostly between August 2017 and January 2019. For a full explanation of the survey methods, see nyhcampaign.org/reportmethods.

Most respondents were insured at the time of responding to the survey, but a striking number faced cost barriers and inadequate coverage that prevented them from getting medical care. 50% of privately insured respondents reported skipping or delaying at least one type of care because of cost. Three out of four (72%) of these respondents skipped or delayed multiple types of care.

A wide variety of medical care was skipped or delayed by privately insured respondents: regular check ups (33%), prescription drugs (23%), mental health (22%), diagnostic testing (14%), and surgery (7%). Many privately insured respondents skipped dental (41%) and vision (24%), forms of care that insurance frequently does not cover.

Even those who have been most consistently insured throughout their lives reported skipping or delaying care at nearly the same rate as those with less stable insurance coverage (47% vs. 51%).

An overwhelming number of survey respondents (73%) reported being uninsured at some time in their lives.  Six out of 10 (59%) had been uninsured for at least one year, and over half of the participants (52%) reported being uninsured for at least five years. While most respondents (93%) were insured at the time of the survey, lack of insurance has been a fact of life for almost everyone. According to the US Census bureau, 1.1 million New York State residents were uninsured for the entirety of 2017, and many more lost their coverage during the course of the year, when they lost or changed jobs, experienced a change in income eligibility, divorced, aged out of coverage or lost a parent or spouse. More than 400,000 New Yorkers are barred from Medicaid, Medicare and the individual marketplace because of their undocumented Immigration status.

The New York State of Health, established under the Affordable Care Act, is a marketplace for people who are not eligible for public or employer-provided plans to purchase insurance.

Respondents who purchased plans through the individual marketplace were more likely than respondents insured through other types of coverage to report problems getting the care they need (63% vs. 42%) and skipping or delaying care due to cost (63% vs. 49%).

Those on marketplace plans skipped or delayed nearly all types of care at higher rates than other respondents: regular check-ups (44% vs. 30%), prescription drugs (27%vs. 23%), mental health (29% vs. 20%), diagnostic tests (23% vs. 12%), dental care (49% vs. 40%), and vision (37% vs. 24%), with nearly 40% developing more serious conditions as a consequence (37% vs. 33%).

Those with marketplace insurance plans were more likely to have problems paying medical bills (55% vs. 44%), especially paying premiums (63% vs. 26%), deductibles (55% vs. 29%) and bills out of pocket (56% vs. 38%) than those with other types of coverage.

Respondents who purchased plans through the individual marketplace were more likely than respondents insured through other types of coverage to report problems skipping or delaying care due to cost. (63% vs. 49%) Despite public subsidies and increased regulation, those with marketplace private insurance plans are struggling to afford and access care.

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