Who Are the Uninsured in Texas?
The uninsured are a diverse group that includes people who cannot afford private health insurance; who work in small businesses that do not offer insurance; who simply choose not to purchase health insurance, even though they can afford it; who are eligible-but not enrolled-in government sponsored programs such as Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Plan (CHIP); and recent immigrants.
According to a summary of national data by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), groups with a high likelihood of lacking health insurance include:
- People in families with income below 200 percent of the poverty level;
- Young adults, age 19 to 34;
- People in families in which the adults worked either part-time or only part of the year; or
- Individuals in fair or poor health status who are significantly more likely than others to be uninsured for longer periods.
Texas workers are less likely to have employment-based health insurance coverage than those in other states. 50 percent of all companies in the US offer health coverage for their employees.The 2017 stats show the U.S. average for employment based health insurance is 46.8, compared to 49.4% in Texas. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports 89 percent of the uninsured in Texas have at least one family member who works either full-time or part-time in 2017.
The average annual premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance in 2017 was $6,715 for single coverage and $19,565 for family coverage. The average annual worker contribution in 2017 was $1,427 for single coverage and $5,431 for family coverage. For family coverage, the worker contribution increased 204% ($1,787 to $5,431) from 2001 to 2017. Workers in small firms (3–199 workers) have lower average contributions for single coverage than workers in larger firms ($1,035 vs. $1,330), but contribute significantly more for family coverage ($7,805 vs. $5,271).
People making moderate and low wages are much less likely to have job-based health insurance coverage than those earning more. In Texas, an average of 47 percent of uninsured adults had incomes below 100 percent of the federal poverty in 2014.