Health Insurance Coverage

In Texas and across the U.S., people enrolled in a health insurance program — private or public — have better access to health care than the uninsured: studies show that the uninsured are less likely to get prevention services or care they need for their major health conditions and chronic diseases.

 Texas faces long-standing challenges to optimal health, including the nation’s highest uninsured rates, and steep financial and systemic barriers for those who have insurance. Public policy choices — federal, state, and local — shape not just access to medical care, but also family economic security, employability, and even parenting capacity. We seek policy changes to make affordable, comprehensive care a reality for every Texan.

health insurance

Uninsured in Texas

In Texas and across the U.S., people enrolled in a health insurance program — private or public — have better access to health care than the uninsured. Uninsured Texans are less likely to get prevention services or care they need.

Medicaid

Medicaid and CHIP are public insurance programs created under federal law and operated as federal-state partnerships. In 2019, about 4 million Texans were covered by Medicaid on any given day, about 3 million of them children.

ACA & Healthcare Reform

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more than 20 million Americans, including around 1 million Texans, have gained health coverage. The ACA also put critical protections in place for the Texans with pre-existing health conditions.

Consumer Protection

Consumer protections in private health coverage are necessary to help people access needed health care and protect against financial ruin due to an injury or illness. To do that, coverage must be adequate, provide a range of benefits, be accepted by enough doctors, and cap an individual’s out-of-pocket costs at a level that is affordable relative to their income.

Eligibility & Enrollment

Learn about eligibility, outreach, and enrollment in Texas. A high number of Texans are eligible for a health insurance affordability program (such as Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and subsidies for plans purchased through the health insurance Marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act) but are not enrolled.

Children's Medicaid & CHIP

Ensuring that our children can access health care is particularly essential, because early diagnosis can be the difference between a lifetime disability, or a child reaching their highest possible potential. Texas has the worst rate of uninsured children (11.2 percent of Texas kids uninsured in 2018) in the country–more than twice the national rate of 5.5%!

Meet Our Staff

Anne Dunkelberg

Associate Director, Program Director - Health and Wellness Team

Melissa McChesney
Melissa McChesney

Senior Policy Analyst, Health and Wellness Team

Stacey Pogue
Stacey Pogue

Senior Policy Analyst, Health and Wellness Team

Your Support Makes a Difference

We believe Texas can be the best state in the United States, and our public policy work is an indispensable part of getting there. Your support improves equity in health care, food security, education, and financial stability.