Sunset Park has lowest health insurance rate in Brooklyn: Report

Sunset Park has lowest health insurance rate in Brooklyn: Report
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace house the lowest number of health-insured residents in the borough and claim one of the lowest insured rates in the city — according to a report by the Independent Budget Office.

The study, released on July 1, revealed that 12.4 percent of residents in Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace are uninsured, compared to Brooklyn’s average uninsured rate of 6.9 percent in 2017. The two neighborhoods mark the fourth lowest rates of health insurance in New York City, with 17,642 residents uncovered, according to 2018 data.

IBO — a publicly-funded agency that provides information about New York City’s budget — compared each New York City district’s uninsured rate to its number of public hospitals to predict the efficacy of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s upcoming NYC Care plan — a $100 million initiative that aims to implement the nation’s largest public health care system.

Scheduled to launch in the Bronx in August and spread to the five boroughs by 2020, the plan will offer New Yorkers a public insurance option, allowing residents to access health care services at a sliding-scale cost at any public hospital.

But with 70 public facilities strewn across the five boroughs, not all New Yorkers will have equal access to affordable care, according to the study.

“Because NYC Care relies on using NYC Health + Hospitals facilities, the success of the initiative is dependent in part on accessibility,” the study claims.

In areas with low insured rates and no public hospitals — like Sunset Park — NYC Care may be a tough sell.

South Brooklyn only has a handful of public clinics, mainly located in Sheepshead Bay, Coney Island, and Brighton Beach, the study shows. While Sunset Park residents can visit the NYU Langone Family Health Center on 55th street — which also offers care on a sliding-scale basis — they will have to travel to King’s County Hospital in East Flatbush if they choose to take part in the city’s public health care option.

Bushwick also has one of Brooklyn’s lowest uninsured rates at 11.5 percent, although the neighborhood houses a number of public facilities in the area.

The study claims that Canarsie and Flatlands, while having an uninsured rate of 6.2 percent, lacks access to health care facilities, forcing residents to travel to East Flatbush or East New York for cheap medical attention.

Reach reporter Rose Adams at radams@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–8306.
A healthcare desert: South Brooklyn lacks public hospitals and clinics, making it difficult for uninsured residents to take part in Mayor de Blasio’s upcoming “NYC Care” program.