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Western New York uninsured rate well below that of state

Western New York’s uninsured rate of 3.68 percent is 39 percent lower than the statewide uninsured rate of 6.06 percent and 57 percent lower than the national uninsured rate, according to a Univera Healthcare analysis of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Credit goes to the collaborative environment in Western New York, in which the health systems and the physicians partner with employers and our local nonprofit health insurers to make coverage here both accessible and affordable,” said Art Wingerter, Univera Healthcare president.

The national health insurance rate is 8.58 percent and could go higher depending on how Congress decides to reform the health care system, work that is expected to include a vote next week on a bill sponsored by Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

Univera reviewed the latest data available from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the largest available national data source that enables more accurate comparisons of national, state and regional figures.

Meanwhile, the National Committee for Quality Assurance rates also has rated Western New York’s three largest insurers – HealthNow New York (BlueCross BlueShield of WNY), Independent Health, and Univera – among the “higher performing” health plans in the state and nation when it comes to private commercial health insurance and also Medicare coverage.

The committee, a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality, rates 498 commercial, 386 Medicare and 178 Medicaid health plans across the country.

“Its ratings are a tool that employers and consumers can use to make informed choices when selecting a health plan,” Univera spokesman Peter Kates said in a news release. “Ratings reflect a health plan’s performance in clinical quality, member experience, and accreditation standards.”

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