Census Bureau: Texas Has Highest Rate of Uninsured People in U.S.

Sep 17, 2015

More people in Texas had health insurance in 2014 than 2013 – the number of insured Texans went up by more than 700,000 people.

Still, according to numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday, Texas had the highest rate of uninsured people in the U.S. in 2014. And now, it has the highest number of uninsured people, too. 

"During 2014, the state with the lowest percentage of people without health insurance at the time of the interview was Massachusetts at 3.3 percent, while the highest uninsured rate was for Texas at 19.1 percent," said Victoria Velkoff, chief of the Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division at the U.S. Census Bureau.

Texas had an uninsured rate of about 22 percent in 2013. That drop of about three percentage points in 2014 is because more people purchased insurance directly — some through the federal marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act.

In other states it’s also because they chose to expand who qualifies for Medicaid based on income — an option under the ACA that Texas hasn’t agreed to.

Supporters of Medicaid eligibility expansion say about 1 million more Texans would have access to health care, and they say Texas is leaving billions of federal dollars on the table. Opponents say Medicaid already consumes about a quarter of the Texas budget, and that federal expansion rules are too rigid.