Upstate New York and Statewide Uninsured Rates Reach Best Levels Ever Recorded

leva doyle
Thursday, September 26, 2019

Upstate New York and Statewide Uninsured Rates

Reach Best Levels Ever Recorded


Upstate New York’s health insurance uninsured rate fell to 3.5 percent, the lowest ever recorded, according to Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey issued today.

The upstate New York rate compares favorably to a new best record for the state of 5.4 percent. The national rate rose slightly to 8.9 percent. (Rates from 2017 were:  4 percent in upstate New York; 5.7 percent, NYS; and 8.7 percent, U.S.)

“These low rates of uninsured present an even better picture than what most people might realize,” said Christopher Booth, the health plan’s chief executive officer. “The real uninsured number is even less because these surveys only record those who report having coverage. There are thousands more who are eligible for coverage but simply have not enrolled in such programs as Medicaid, Child Health Plus and Medicare.” 

The American Community Survey is the largest and the U.S. Census Bureau’s recommended source for examining uninsured data at national, state and regional levels. It reports the yearly uninsured rate for geographic areas with populations of 65,000 or more. The county-level data were aggregated to calculate the upstate New York uninsured rate cited by the health plan.  

“Upstate New York’s uninsured rates have historically been lower than the numbers recorded for the state and nation,” Booth observed. “We believe the more favorable numbers here reflect the fact that the region has lower levels of health care spending due to a marketplace of nonprofit health plans and nonprofit hospital systems.”