AUSTIN, Texas — The combination of COVID-19 job loss and employer-provided health insurance is hitting Texas families hard, but many are eligible for health coverage under Medicaid if they sign up and meet income eligibility guidelines.
Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents and children in the nation, but state lawmakers nonetheless have declined to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Melissa McChesney, policy analyst for the Health and Wellness Team at the Texas Center for Public Policy Priorities, said that when uninsured people get sick, they often wait too long to see a doctor.
“That has cost implications for that particular person, as that’s a much more expensive way to treat that illness as opposed to going to a doctor when they first got sick,” she said. “But also, it’s more expensive overall for everyone.”
It’s estimated the cost of COVID treatment for someone uninsured can top $30,000, which could lead some people to skip testing or delay getting medical care.