May 3 2017
Economic Analysis,Population Health Technology

Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metro Has Nation’s 13th Lowest Uninsured Rate for under 65 Population

The Capital Region has emerged as national leader in the effort to reduce the ranks of uninsured Americans under 65 years old. In 2015, the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan statistical area (MSA) had the 13th lowest uninsured rate among more than 380 metros nationwide, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of U.S. Census Bureau five-year estimates.*

The uninsured rate is one of several quality of life indicators that the Capital Region Economic Development Council (CREDC) tracks in its Progress Reports.

National Performance

Between 2011 and 2015, the Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA, which consists of Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady and Schoharie counties, averaged an uninsured rate of 6.8 percent. At 6.1 percent, the Ithaca MSA was the only New York metro with a lower rate, ranking 10th nationally. The Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls MSA was not far behind the Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA at 6.9 percent, ranking 16th.

New York State Performance

The Capital Region consists of Albany, Columbia Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington counties. During the 2011-2015 period, the region averaged an estimated 835,072 insured residents under 65 years old and 66,059 uninsured individuals in that demographic. That resulted in an uninsured rate of 7.3 percent, well below the statewide rate of 11.1 percent. Out of New York’s 10 regions, the Capital Region in 2015 had the lowest uninsured rate.


Economic Impacts

The 2015 decline of the region’s uninsured rate in 2015 followed New York’s acceptance of federal funding the previous year to expand the state’s Medicaid program, as provided by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). After reviewing studies commissioned by several states on the economic impacts of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion provision, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services concluded the “findings almost universally show job growth and positive economic impacts over time.”  

In 2015, the gross metropolitan product (GMP) of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA’s health care and social assistance sector rose by 5.2 percent to $4.1 billion – more than double the previous year’s growth rate. The growth rate of health care and social assistance sector jobs also more than doubled in 2015, increasing 2 percent to 62,636.

In 2015, this increase in health care and social assistance employment growth in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA translated into an increase in total wages of $143.7 million. The sector’s total wages for 2015 rose to $2.8 billion.

*These five-year estimates from the American Community Survey (S2701) differ from one-year estimates in the Census Bureau’s recently released Small Area Health Insurance Estimates because the latter only includes people for whom income was reported.


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