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21% of those under age 65 in Travis County have no health insurance

Indicator: Percent under age 65 in Travis County with no health insurance

Goal: Hold constant the number of Travis County residents under the age of 65 who are uninsured

Target: 20% by 2014

Significance of Indicator: Health insurance improves a person's health and their ability to get an education and achieve and maintain productive employment reports the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Currently, the U.S. Government and taxpayers spend billions of dollars caring for the uninsured.

what the data tell us

All Texas regions displayed on the graph below have higher rates of uninsured persons than the nation. The percentage of people who are uninsured has been declining in the City of Austin, Travis County and the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos MSA over the past few years. Travis County seems to be on track for meeting the target of 20% uninsured by 2014.

Definition: Under 65 years with no private or public health insurance coverage for the civilian non-institutionalized population

Data Source: American Community Survey, 1 Year Estimates

Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation's population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data.

the story behind the indicator

The Texas Regional Health Partnership Seven reports that many local residents depend on public insurance programs for health coverage. Due to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, children are more likely than adults to be insured. Even so, more than one out of ten children in Travis County are uninsured. While seniors typically have access to Medicare, access to government coverage programs for adults under the age of 65 is limited. Currently one out of four adults ages 18-64 in Travis County are uninsured. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides for the expansion of Medicaid to all legal residents living at or below 138% of the federal poverty level. Travis County’s Research and Planning Division estimates that more than 95,000 people in Travis County that are currently uninsured will be eligible for Medicaid in January 2014 if Texas opts for the Medicaid expansion. It is also estimated that under the ACA as many as 112,000 currently uninsured Travis County residents between 138% and 400% of the federal poverty level will be required to purchase health insurance by January 2014 and will also be eligible for tax credits and cost sharing assistance.

some local efforts to improve this indicator

  • Central Health provides access to health care for uninsured and under-served residents. Central Health reports that enrollment in the Medical Assistance Program, a locally funded program that provides health coverage for uninsured people, has increased three-fold since 2005. Central Health is the lead agency for a six county Regional Healthcare Partnership Plan that describes how the region will transform healthcare delivery as part of a state-wide 1115 Waiver. Austin Travis County Integral Care, a key partner in this effort, plans to expand and enhance community-based services through integration of physical and behavioral health with chronic disease prevention programs, mobile outreach, tele-medicine, peer support services, and community outreach and education. Travis County voters approved a tax increase in 2012 for Central Health that will result in expanded access to health care for uninsured and underinsured people and will support collaborative efforts with UT Austin and the Seton Healthcare Family to create a medical school and teaching hospital.

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  • Central Health Healthcare Navigation is a partnership with United Way Capital Area that connects people who call 2-1-1 with health insurance enrollment assistance.

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  • The Central Texas Regional Healthcare Coverage Coalition engages partners across multiple counties to help people access public healthcare assistance.

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  • Health care providers in Central Texas are working together, through the Integrated Care Collaboration (ICC), to collect and analyze clinical data in a Health Information Exchange called the ICare system. Through this analysis of regional data, ICare will help providers identify needs in the Central Texas health care system and create programs to improve health outcomes for vulnerable populations.

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  • Local partners are working together to bring the Texas Benefit Bank to Central Texas.  This state-wide initiative connects people with public health programs and other assistance.

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  • A coalition of partners including the Texas Hunger Initiative, Texas Impact, and the Texas Association of Community Health Centers secured a Texas Health and Human Services Commission contract to implement a Community Partners Program. The “Community Partners” will use Texas’s online application at www.YourTexasBenefits.com to help eligible families apply and enroll in public programs such as Medicaid and SNAP.

a closer look at the story behind the indicator:

Click on one of the titles below for more information.

» Health Insurance Coverage in Travis County

% of individuals with no health insurance coverage by economic status

In 2012, 33% of Travis County’s low-income residents were uninsured. This compares to 11% of Travis County residents who were not low-income. The percentage of low-income individuals who were uninsured dropped for every jurisdiction on this graph from 2010 to 2012.

Definition: Individuals with no private or public health insurance coverage for the civilian non-institutionalized population by economic status

Data Source: American Community Survey, 1 Year Estimates

Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation’s population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data.

% of Individuals Under the Age of 65 with no Health Insurance Coverage by Age Group

In 2012, 10% of Travis County residents under the age of 18 and 24% of Travis County residents aged 18-64 were uninsured. Both Travis County and the City of Austin have seen a steady decline in the uninsured rates of both age groups since 2009.

Definition: Under 65 years with no private or public health insurance coverage for the civilian non-institutionalized population by age

Data Source: American Community Survey, 1 Year Estimates

Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation’s population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data.

% of individuals with no health insurance coverage by race and ethnicity

One third of Hispanics report being uninsured. Forty percent of people who identify as being some other race besides African American, Asian, American Indian, or White, report being uninsured. Non-Hispanic Whites report being uninsured at the lowest rate in Travis County (12%).

Definition: Individuals with no private or public health insurance coverage for the civilian non-institutionalized population by race and ethnicity. “Hispanic” is classified by the U.S. Census Bureau as an “ethnicity” and not as a “race.” As a result, the following categories may include some people who also identify as Hispanic: African American, Asian, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Some Other Race Alone, and Two or More Races.

Data Source: American Community Survey, 1 Year Estimates

Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation’s population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data.

» Concentrations of Uninsured Residents in the Greater Austin Metro Area

map showing percentages of uninsured residents in the five-county region

Across the five county region, Caldwell County has the highest percentage of people who are uninsured and Williamson County has the lowest percentage. The percentage of uninsured people increased slightly in Caldwell Country (from 29% to 30%) and decreased slightly in Hays County (21% to 20%) from 2010 to 2011.

image of Map Showing percentages of Uninsured residents in 5-County Region Click on the map to view a data table with this information.

Definition: Under 65 years with no private or public health insurance coverage for the civilian non-institutionalized population

Data Source: American Community Survey, 3 Year Estimates.

Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation’s population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data.

vulnerable populations

turning the curve

The CAPCOG Area Agency on Aging Plan, Central Health's Strategic Plan, the Community Action Network's Frequently Asked Questions documents on Child and Youth Mental Health and on Childhood Poverty, and the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan all advocate for increasing access to healthcare through strategies such as expanding eligibility for public health insurance programs or by increasing efforts to enroll eligible persons in public health insurance programs.