New report provides 2020 pandemic enrollment data by county

March 2021

Pandemic Enrollment Growth Highlights the Importance of Medicaid

Medicaid provides access to health care for many New Yorkers. The coronavirus pandemic, and the economic downturn resulting from the ensuing public health crisis, have highlighted the critical role that Medicaid plays in NY. 

New York has always recognized the importance of Medicaid in helping New York guarantee health coverage to all New Yorkers. At the beginning of 2020, before the first COVID-19 case appeared in NY, over 6 million New Yorkers were covered by Medicaid. Due to the economic downturn and job loss associated with the pandemic, over 700,000 new enrollees turned to Medicaid between March and November of 2020. Medicaid ensured that they did not lose access to health care when they lost their employer health insurance. That is exactly how Medicaid should respond to economic downturns.

Even before the pandemic Medicaid provided coverage to one in four New Yorkers, including low-income New Yorkers, parents and children, individuals requiring long-term care services, both in the community and in nursing facilities, those with disabilities, including physical disabilities as well as mental health disabilities, individuals with substance use disorders, and people with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

This report includes county-specific information that highlights the important role that Medicaid plays across the entire state. Each page provides three pieces of information:

  • the relative size of Medicaid within the county;
  • the growth in Medicaid since the pandemic began;
  • the contribution of the various Medicaid programs that are designed to meet the needs of specific populations.

We hope this information enhances your understanding of the importance of Medicaid in your community and for your constituents. Please reach out if you have any questions.

Download a PDF of the report here.

Data Sources:

1. NYS Medicaid Enrollment Databook, https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/enrollment/historical/enrollment_trends.htm

2. Medicaid Managed Care Enrollment Reports, https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/managed_care/reports/enrollment/monthly/

3. Child Health Plus Enrollment by Insurer, https://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/child_health_plus/enrollment/

Prepared by Mark King of GMHC and Denise Soffel