People Without Health Insurance
What does this measure?
The percentage of people under 65 who are not covered by some form of health insurance, including public programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.
Why is this important?
Health insurance is critical to families’ and individuals’ access to care, financial security and peace of mind. Those without insurance may delay getting needed care and forgo preventive care altogether, which can lead to medical problems that are more serious and expensive to treat. Insurance allows the often–high cost of health services to be spread out over many years and facilitates risk–sharing across the population. Financial ruin can be the result if an uninsured family must cope with a major illness or injury. In addition, charity care provided by hospitals to those without insurance drives up the cost of private insurance and the tax burden.
How are Cayuga and Seneca counties performing?
In 2009, 12% of Cayuga residents and 14% of Seneca residents were without health insurance, compared to a state (excluding New York City) rate of 11% and a national rate of 17%. Rates in comparison counties were all between 10% and 11%.
Notes about the data
Comparable data not available for earlier years. In 2008, the Census Bureau began using the American Community Survey as its data source for these estimates rather than the Current Population Survey, making comparisons prior to 2008 impossible.