Texas Uninsured Rate Hits 19 Percent

Steven Pickering
December 13, 2018 - 7:52 am
Health

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HILDALGO CO. (KRLD) - About 4.7 million people in Texas under the age of 65 don’t have health insurance. That’s more than any other state in the U.S.

“The uninsured rate in Texas actually had been decreasing for a number of years after the Affordable Care Act, and this year it went up for the first time in several years,” said CEO Elena Marks of the Episcopal Health Foundation, which conducted the study along with the Urban Institute. “Two-thirds of the people who are uninsured are in a family with somebody working. They are often working in industries that are typically not known for providing health insurance – construction industry, retail.”

Marks hopes Texas lawmakers will take note of the numbers when they return to Austin for their next session in 2019. Other states, she said, had boosted their health insurance rates by expanding Medicaid. “What this data shows is that if Texas did, a quarter of the 4.7 million uninsured Texans would be covered by that,” she said.

Hidalgo County had the state’s highest uninsured rate at 30 percent. Collin County had the lowest at 12 percent. The Dallas County uninsured rate is 23 percent.