Skip to content

Texas Still Tops the List of Uninsured States

As of 30th July 2015, Texas ranked as the top uninsured state in America. 1.2 children and over 6.3 million adults lack health insurance in Texas. Texas uninsured rates are almost 2 times the national’s average. This has created significant problems in health care delivery in this state. It was expected that the health insurance Texas situation would change after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, but two years down the line and there is still very little change.

Who forms the uninsured in Texas?

The vast majority of individuals who do not have health insurance in Texas are those who operate small businesses which do not offer insurance. However, does offer Texas health insurance. There are also those who choose not to take out private medical cover. Some are eligible but still haven’t enrolled in any of the government sponsored programs such as Children’s Health insurance Plans and Medicaid. There are of course those who cannot afford it and recent immigrants. According to a report released by the Congressional Budget Office, persons who have a higher likelihood of not taking out health insurance in Texas include:

• Young adults between the ages of 19 to 34
• People who earn an income below the poverty level
• Hispanics
• Persons who have a poor health status and cannot get insurance due to the high risk factor.

Texans are also less likely to have employee health insurance covers than persons in other states. In 2012, Texas was ranked 42nd countrywide as only 45 percent of Texans had an employee based health insurance covers.

Why so many remain uninsured in Texas?

A report issued by the Episcopal Health foundation indicated that the cost of health insurance in Texas continues to be the number one reason why so many remain uninsured. More than 50 percent of Texans who were interviewed said that the premium prices were too high. However, what was alarming was that many have never really taken the initiative to find out how much health insurance in Texas costs, both from government sponsored or private firms offering health insurance in Texas. In 2015, the penalty cost for not having insurance went up by 2 percent. This amounts to $162.5 per child and $325 dollars per adult. However, even the threat of being penalized does not seem to motivate most Texans to take out health insurance in Texas.

What is the medical impact of not having health insurance in Texas?

The uninsured and their families are at a higher risk of dying as a result of health related complications. They are also less likely to get immediate medical care to counter symptoms that can lead to serious health problems. Lack of health insurance in Texas also increase the dependence on government sponsored programs such as Medicaid.

Financial impact of the uninsured crisis in Texas

In 2003, Texas hospitals spent slightly over $208 million treating trauma patients who did not have health insurance in Texas. To meet these high costs, the hospitals had to charge insured patients more, this in turn drove the cost of health insurance in Texas upwards. This created a vicious cycle and only added on to the health insurance premiums which were already high. More employers were forced to drop coverage and this led to more employees operating without health insurance in Texas. The insured have to contend with high premiums and this cycle is still far from over. It is estimated that extending health insurance in Texas can help improve the over health by up to 8 percent.