More than 840,000 Texans are Working but Have no Health Insurance
Texas Coverage Solution Could Reduce Uncompensated Care and Promote Healthier Workforce
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Austin – New analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows that nearly 60 percent of uninsured, low-wage Texans are working. Despite being employed, these Texans lack health insurance coverage because their employers do not offer it as an employee benefit or it is unaffordable.
Without health insurance, these uninsured residents rely on hospital emergency departments and clinics for their health care needs –– from primary care to critical care. Texas hospitals’ uncompensated care load is currently more than $5.5 billion annually. Likewise, property taxpayers and the privately insured pay higher taxes and premiums to offset uncompensated care costs.
More than one million Texans have incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid coverage but too low to qualify for subsidized private health insurance through the federally run health insurance marketplace.
“A Texas coverage solution that uses federal funds to bring hardworking Texans into the private insurance market is fiscally responsible public policy,” said Ted Shaw, president/CEO of the Texas Hospital Association. “Providing access to coverage that demands personal responsibility and accountability will promote a healthier workforce and a healthier economy.”
Analysis of Census data from Families USA, a nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization, finds that 58 percent of these uninsured individuals are in the workforce, while 24 percent are not because they are students, have a disability or are a caretaker of young children or a family member with a disability. The nearly 846,000 working but uninsured Texans are in industries vital to the state’s robust economy. These include sales, food services, office support and construction.
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