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Number of drivers Upstate without insurance falls to record low

The number of people enrolled in some form of health insurance has continued to increase, with the uninsurance rate falling to a record low of 3.5 percent.

That numbers gleaned from a U.S. Census report come as the rest of the state has also seen its uninsurance enrollment rate fall to 5.4 percent overall. The national rate has ticked slightly upward to 8.7 percent, according to the 2018 American Community Survey.

“These low rates of uninsured present an even better picture than what most people might realize,” said Christopher Booth, the CEO of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “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.”

New York has one of the more robust Medicaid programs in the country, and its typically the most costly item in the state budget. But the program, along with the state’s health exchange marketplace set up after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, have been credited with signing more people up for coverage.

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