Dallas County's Uninsured Rate Higher Than State Average, Census Says

More North Texans have obtained health insurance coverage than ever before, but Dallas County still has higher rates of uninsured than the state average.In 2016, 19.6 percent -- or nearly 1 out of 5 of the 2.5 million residents of Dallas County -- lacked health coverage, according to census data released Thursday. That’s compared with 15.6 percent in neighboring Tarrant County, about 10 percent in Denton County and 9.5 percent in Collin County.Dallas was the only one of North Texas’ four most populous counties whose uninsured rate was higher than the state average of 16.6 percent. The Census Bureau provides statistics on changes in the rate and distribution of health insurance coverage as part of its annual American Community Survey.The data reflects many factors, to include evolving economic and demographic trends as well as the impact of policy changes on access to care.On Tuesday the federal agency released its national estimates, which found that about 1 in 6 Texans was uninsured last year. That once again put the Lone Star State as the worst in the nation.Obamacare effectThe good news is that rates are dropping.The census survey provides data on characteristics of the nation’s uninsured population since 2009, the year before the Affordable Care Act was signed into law.Uninsured rates had already been on the decline, but the decline accelerated with Obamacare.In the four years from 2010 to 2013, the number of uninsured in Dallas County dropped from 672,403 people to 668,386, a decrease of less than 1 percent. However, in the four years since 2013, the last year before marketplace plans took effect, the decrease was closer to 25 percent, with 502,205 uninsured in 2016.  Continue reading...

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