REPORT: Upstate NY Leads Most of Nation When it Comes to People with Health Insurance

January 23, 2014 Updated Feb 3, 2014 at 1:07 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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January 23, 2014 Updated Feb 3, 2014 at 1:07 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y (WKBW) A new report compiled by Univera Healthcare in Buffalo has found that 91% of the Upstate New York population is covered by some form of health insurance.

Univera Healthcare looked at the most recent Census Bureau data that was collected as part of the American Community Survey for the years 2010 to 2012.

The data showed that Upstate New York had a three-year uninsured rate of 8.4% (407,000 people) which was lower than the statewide average of 11.4% and the national rate of 15.1%.

Univera Healthcare president Art Wingerter tells Eyewitness News that the anaylsis concluded that most people in the Upstate area with insurance are getting coverage from their employers.

"It is great for the taxpayers because there is far less people on public health plans in this region," added Wingerter.

Upstate New York is ranked 5th when it comes to the percentage of people with health insurance.

In 2014, Americans are required to have health insurance as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. "Obamacare") or pay a tax penalty.

"That being said, we have a very high percentage of the uninsured that are getting insurance through the public programs such as the Medicaid safety-net and Medicare programs," explained Wingerter.

According to Univera Healthcare, the Congressional Budget Office predicted that by 2023, when the Affordable Care Act is fully in place, 89% of those younger than age 65 would have health coverage.

"Upstate New York is already at 91% insured. It is not surprising because we have often trended ahead of the State and the Nation," said Art Wingerter.

Those without health insurance now have until March 31st to signup through online health insurance market places operated by the Federal Government (https://www.healthcare.gov) and NY State (https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/).