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null Upstate New York’s Uninsured Rate Remains at Historic Low; NYS Rate Is the Lowest Ever Recorded

Upstate New York’s Uninsured Rate Remains at Historic Low; NYS Rate Is the Lowest Ever Recorded

For Immediate Release:  2018-09-13

Contact:  Jim Redmond, (585) 238-4579 /

Upstate New York’s health insurance uninsured rate continued to hold at the historic level of 4 percent, while the state’s uninsured rate hit its lowest level in history, according to an Excellus BlueCross BlueShield analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey issued today.

The 4 percent rate for upstate NY compares favorably to a statewide uninsured rate of 5.7 percent. The national rate is 8.7 percent. 

“More people than ever before are reporting they have coverage that provides them with access to the high-quality health care available in upstate New York,” said Christopher Booth, chief executive officer of Excellus BCBS. “We’ve never seen these percentages of the population with coverage.”

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 uninsured rate cited by the health plan.

“We believe the historically low uninsured rates for upstate are a result of lower-cost health care in this market of nonprofit health plans and nonprofit hospital systems,” Booth said.

By comparison, the 2016 uninsured rate for the state was 6.1 percent, while the U.S. rate was 8.6 percent.

View an Excellus BCBS infographic illustrating the census numbers hereOpen a PDF.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members. The company's mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With more than 3,500 employees, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It also encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. To learn more, visit