Texas Uninsured Rate Highest in Nation; Employers Feeling the Financial Pain.

May 21, 2010

Health Leaders InterStudy, a Nashville, Tenn.-based provider of managed care market intelligence, is reporting that Dallas, Texas area employers are having to pay higher premiums in order to provide health insurance coverage for their employees, because the region has such a high number of uninsured people.

The high uninsured rate in the Dallas region, according to the Dallas Market Overview, is causing the amount of uncompensated care in local hospitals to dramatically increase, which, in turn, makes hospitals pressure health plans for higher reimbursements in order to help them balance some of the losses that are tied to such care. Continuing the cycle, those increased reimbursements make health insurance premiums cost more for everyone else.

How high is the uninsured rate in the Dallas area? Well, as of July, 2009, it was 24 percent. Per data fro the U.S. Census, this makes Texas the nation’s leader in the percentage of uninsured residents, which totals 25 percent.

Throughout the region, efforts to reduce medical costs are emerging. These solutions include the creation of patient-centered medical homes, wellness programs, and a regional health-information exchange.