With youth comes a high rate of not having health insurance.
That's one of the findings of an Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield report released in April. The report titled "Uninsured Adults in Upstate New York," used U.S. Census Bureau surveys taken from 2008 to 2010 to profile the region's 18-year-olds to 64-year-olds who have no health insurance.
"By identifying the at-risk individuals, it allows us to focus more attention there," says Dr. Arthur Vercillo, regional president of Excellus, a nonprofit based in Rochester that is Central New York's largest health insurer. "We think it's important for our community, just as it's important for all communities, to spot opportunities to enhance access to coverage."
The report found that nearly a quarter of adults between the ages of 19 and 25 were uninsured - 24.7 percent. And 18.5 percent of those ages 26 to 34 had no health insurance, it said.
"Sometimes we call them the young invincibles," Vercillo says. "And it would be helpful bringing them into the insurance pool. It would help everybody. Even the young invincibles develop appendicitis or have an accident sometimes. And then they have to face the unhappy reality that those bills are quite high if you don't have insurance."
Uninsured rates declined in older segments of the population. Just 12.6 percent of those ages 35 to 44 were uninsured.
The uninsured rate fell further to 10.1 percent for those ages 45 to 54. And it was only 9.5 percent for those ages 55 to 64.
Marital status also played a role in uninsured rates, the report found. Single upstate residents had higher uninsured rates than those who were married. Single men's uninsured rate stood at 25.3 percent, and single women's was 18.1 percent.
In comparison, 9 percent of married or widowed men were uninsured. Among married or widowed women, 7.8 percent had no health insurance.
Those who were divorced or separated had higher uninsured rates as well. Divorced or separated men had a 22.7 percent uninsured rate. Divorced or separated women's uninsured rate was 15.6 percent.
Marriage probably lowers uninsured rates by giving many individuals access to health insurance through their spouses, according to the report. In addition, wedding vows often lead to higher household incomes, it said.
And higher household incomes mean lower uninsured rates, the report found.
The uninsured rate checked in at 24.5 percent among those living in households with incomes of less than $25,000. It slipped to 21.3 percent for those with household incomes falling between $25,000 and $49,999.
The uninsured rate took a major dip to 12.7 percent for residents living in households with incomes of $50,000 to $74,999. It fell to 9.1 percent for incomes between $75,000 and $99,999, and then dropped further to 6.4 percent for those in households making $100,000 or more.
Uninsured rates varied depending on work-force participation. A higher portion of unemployed workers were uninsured compared to those who had jobs.
For unemployed workers, the uninsured rate was 30.1 percent It was 21.4 percent for part-time workers.
The rate slid to 10.3 percent for full-time workers. However, it was also only 14.8 percent for those not in the labor force, a group that included retirees, students, family members taking care of children, and residents who were not working or seeking work.
The Excellus report noted that a majority of residents without insurance actually had jobs. That's possible even though uninsured rates were highest among the unemployed because a majority of adults ages 18 to 64 worked - 70.2 percent of upstate New York adults had a full-time or part-time job.
"There's a segment of the population that I will call the working poor," Vercillo says. "They work very, very hard. Sometimes it's hard to afford health insurance."
People with jobs made up 62.6 percent of all uninsured residents. The report found 40.1 percent of uninsured residents held full-time jobs and 22.5 percent had part-time jobs.
The unemployed accounted for 12.8 percent of those without insurance. Those not in the labor force made up the final 24.6 percent.
Uninsured rates dropped as education increased, the Excellus report found. Residents without a high-school diploma were uninsured at a rate of 29.7 percent. The rate slid to 17 percent for those with a high-school degree or GED.
It descended to 13 percent for residents who had attended some college or earned an associate degree. And it was only 7.6 percent for residents with a bachelor's degree or higher.
Racial and ethnic minorities had higher uninsured rates, according to the report Hispanic residents had an uninsured rate of 27.6 percent. Black residents' rate was 21.9 percent.
Residents falling into an "other" category that grouped together those with Asian, American Indian, Pacific Islander, and mixed racial and ethnic backgrounds had an uninsured rate of 18.3 percent. White, non-Hispanic residents were uninsured at a rate of 13 percent.