Press Release

New Statewide Healthcare Affordability Survey

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Statewide Survey Reveals New Yorkers Struggle to Afford High Healthcare Costs; Support a Range of Government Solutions Across Party Lines

WASHINGTON—Consumer worry about healthcare affordability is well documented, but now—for the first time—a new survey reveals how affordability concerns and ideas for action play out in New York. The survey found that more than half (52%) of New York adults experienced healthcare affordability burdens in the past year. Even more (76%) are worried about affording healthcare in the future

The survey of more than 980 New York adults, conducted from Dec. 20, 2018 to Jan. 2, 2019, was conducted by Altarum’s Healthcare Value Hub in partnership with the Community Service Society of New York and Healthcare for All New York.

“The survey shows very clearly that New Yorkers want action on healthcare affordability, regardless of their political affiliation,” said Lynn Quincy, director of the Healthcare Value Hub. “Residents at all income levels are struggling to pay for medical care, with middle-income New Yorkers reporting the highest levels of healthcare burdens.”

“As health care costs continue to spiral upwards, this study clearly shows that affordability is a fear that weighs heavily on all New Yorkers, regardless of their income level,” said David Sandman, Ph.D., President and CEO of the New York State Health Foundation. “The survey sends a strong signal to policymakers that consumers are searching for and in need of high-quality, affordable health care across the State.”

“Albany leaders must act now, in this month’s budget negotiations, to address the coverage and affordability issues plaguing New Yorkers,” said Elisabeth Benjamin, MSPH, JD, Vice President of Health Initiatives at the Community Service Society of New York and a co-founder of Health Care for All New York, “this survey underscores the daily pain caused by government inaction on expanding the Essential Plan and establishing a state premium assistance program.”  

Fifty nine percent of New York City residents had affordability burdens in the last year, more than 10 percentage points higher than residents of Long Island and upstate New York. Perhaps reflecting these high rates of affordability burdens, residents of New York City also reported starkly higher levels of worry about paying for healthcare.

Other key findings of the statewide survey include:

  • Healthcare was the most frequently cited issue that the government should address. In descending order, the top vote getters were: 62% healthcare, 43% taxes and 39% the economy/jobs.
  • Worries about affording healthcare go far up the income ladder. While lower-income New York households (less than $50K) have the highest levels of worry (82%), higher-income households (more than $100K) are also impacted: more than two-thirds (67%) are worried about affording healthcare.


Statewide Affordability

Hub Altarum data brief no. 37 - New York healthcare affordability from Community Service Society of New York

New York City Boroughs

Hub Altarum data brief no. 38 - NYC boroughs region from Community Service Society of New York

Long Island

Hub Altarum data brief no. 39 - Long Island region from Community Service Society of New York

Upstate New York

Hub Altarum data brief no. 40 - upstate New York from Community Service Society of New York



Data briefs from the New York survey are available at


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About the Healthcare Value Hub

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Healthcare Value Hub provides free, timely information about the policies and practices needed to achieve health systems that are equitable, affordable, and focused on the goals and needs of the people the system is meant to serve. The Hub is part of Altarum, a nonprofit organization with the mission of creating a better, more sustainable future for all Americans by applying research-based and field-tested solutions that transform our systems of health and healthcare.


About the Community Service Society of New York

The Community Service Society of New York (CSS) is dedicated to bringing low- and moderate-income New Yorkers’ voices to the policy conversation. CSS believes quality, affordable health coverage is critical to securing equity for all New Yorkers. 


Health Care for All New York

Health Care for All New York is a statewide coalition of over 170 organizations dedicated to securing quality, affordable coverage for all New Yorkers. 

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