Six Things You Can Learn About Your State’s Uninsured Landscape

By Anna Gilbert

After two years of Affordable Care Act enrollment, how has the uninsured landscape changed in your state? Enroll America recently published individual data profiles for all 50 states and D.C. to give all of you in the enrollment community the latest stats. These profiles are packed with data, so to show you what you can learn from each snapshot, let’s walk through Texas’ as an example:

  1. How has the uninsured rate changed overall? See below for a full look at Texas’ profile, and compare the estimated statewide uninsured rates in 2015 and 2013. In Texas, the uninsured rate dropped 5.3 percentage points in two years — wow!
  1. How have uninsured rates changed for specific groups? Find out what percentages of people in different demographic groups or counties lack coverage. Together, the map, chart, and targeting recommendations provide suggestions about how to prioritize outreach efforts. For example, the map shows that counties in the Rio Grande Valley and West Texas have the highest uninsured rates.
  1. Who are the uninsured? This section gives a breakdown of the state’s uninsured population by race/ethnicity, age, and gender. This can be a tricky to think about at first. Let’s start with age: 36 percent (more than one-third) of the uninsured population in Texas are ages 18 to 34. This portion has increased over the last two years, meaning other ages (35-64) now make up a smaller fraction of the uninsured population. The key lesson here is that that young adults are an important demographic that continue to need engagement and outreach.
  1. What are the uninsured rates in the most populous counties? Check out top-line uninsured rates — also broken down by demographic group — for counties with the largest overall populations. You can also see which counties have the biggest shares of the state’s total uninsured population. Adding up the percentages, you’ll find that 40 percent of the state’s uninsured live in just five counties — Harris, Dallas, Bexar, Collin, and El Paso counties.
  1. What do other data sources say? We also included some of our favorite and frequently referenced data sources: HHS marketplace plan selections and estimates of the remaining uninsured population published by the Kaiser Family Foundation. There were over 1.2 million plan selections in Texas during the second open enrollment period while 4.4 million uninsured Texans are still uninsured.
  1. How does my state compare to the country? Texas’ uninsured rate started out almost 5 percentage points higher than the national average before OE1, and while it is still above the national average at the start of OE3, both have fallen by more than 5 percentage points.

Overall, what have we learned about Texas? There is still more work to be done, which is why we are working with teams of organizers, community leaders, and partners on the ground from Amarillo to Brownsville, and Houston to El Paso. But let’s also take a moment to celebrate the successes so far in a state that started with one of the highest uninsured rates across the country:

  • The 2015 uninsured rate statewide is 5.5 percent lower than 2013.
  • The 2015 uninsured rate for Latinos is 9 percent lower than 2013.
  • Eight of the 10 most populous counties have 2015 uninsured rates lower than 20 percent.

The next step is for you: What can you learn about your state?

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