The state of Texas now has the highest rate of adults without health insurance in the U.S., according to a new report by the Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Episcopal Health Foundation at Rice University. This rate is now approximately two times lower in Texas than any other state over the previous two years. While Texas remains behind the rest of the country, it has still improved its number of uninsured adults by 21 percent since 2013, whereas the national rate is 41 percent.
"The state of Texas now has the highest rate of adults without health insurance in the U.S."
Uninsured rate among low-income adults falls
As most of the nation has improved its rates of uninsured adults since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, Texas still has the most uninsured - particularly among low income individuals. In fact, the report found that the citizens with the lowest incomes have the highest rates of uninsured adults in the state and the nation.
While that number improved by 15 percent in 2015, low-income adults were the highest rate in the state. Approximately half of all households with income levels under $27,000 are uninsured. What this shows is that the federal subsidies designed for low-income adults through the health insurance plans provided in the Affordable Care Act are either not available or not accessed by these individuals in Texas.
Texas opted not to expand Medicaid
One of the main reasons the report listed for this lack of enrollment among low-income families in the state is that the Affordable Care Act offers plans to them through Medicaid. However, due to the fact that Texas opted not to expand Medicaid to take advantage of these plans, more than 1 million low-income adults do not have access to health insurance. Texas will either need to develop an alternative health insurance system for low-income adults or expand Medicaid in the state.
Hispanics have highest uninsured rates
The report found that Hispanics have the highest uninsured rates of any demographic in the state. However, Hispanics also had the most significant spike in health insurance enrollment with a 10 percent increase this year.