Nov. 12, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
Sunnyside and Woodside have the highest percentages Citywide of residents lacking health insurance, according to City Comptroller Scott Stringer.
Stringer released data Monday indicating that there are 33,570 uninsured people – 22.5 percent of the local population – in these neighborhoods.
Citywide, 11.4 percent of New Yorkers are living without health insurance, according to 2014 Census data collected by Stringer. This figure continues a downward trend and marks the first time the overall number of uninsured people has dropped below 1 million in the past five years, according to Stringer.
“While our nation has made real progress with expanding access to real affordable healthcare to more Americans, it’s unacceptable that Sunnyside and Woodside have the highest rates of people without health insurance in New York City,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said in a statement.
Other western Queens neighborhoods showed similar rates of uninsured residents, including Jackson Heights and Elmhurst/Corona, tied for second highest at 22.2 percent.
Stringer said that “the situation is particularly dire in neighborhoods with large immigrant and younger populations,” citing Jackson Heights and Corona as well as Bushwick, Brooklyn (22 percent uninsured).
Van Bramer touched on this issue as well.
“Comptroller Stringer’s analysis highlights the need to open up more opportunities for immigrants to buy into insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act,” Van Bramer said. “This report is a signal to our City and Nation’s health care providers and agencies that more needs to be done to connect people in need to the resources that are available.”
The publication of Stringer’s analysis coincides with the beginning of the Affordable Care Act open enrollment period, which kicked off Nov. 1.
Open enrollment runs from through Dec. 15 for coverage to begin on Jan. 1, 2016. Enrollment will remain open through Jan. 31. for coverage to begin on March 1.
Health insurance enrollment information for the New York State of Health Marketplace is available online here.