New report: majority of Texas residents have difficulty affording health care

The majority of Texas residents say it is difficult to afford health care, according to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Episcopal Health Foundation. The poll, and its accompanying report, evaluated survey responses from 1,367 adult Texas residents on health care affordability and access to medical care

According to the report, 56 percent of Texans say it is difficult for their family to afford health care. This is a higher percentage than those who reported difficulty affording housing, utilities, transportation, or food.

Data from the report also shows that 38 percent of Texas residents, or someone in their household, had problems or an inability to pay for medical bills during the last year. This is over ten points higher than the national rate where 27 percent report difficulty in paying medical bills. Twenty-three percent of Texas responders said that difficulty paying for their bills had a major impact on their family.

In addition, a total of 61 percent of responders reported that they or a family member had delayed or skipped medical care due to costs; the national rate is 48 percent. Broken down by type of care, 44 percent of residents said they skipped dental care, 42 percent postponed getting health care they needed, 36 percent skipped a recommended test/treatment, and 31 percent had not filled a prescription because of costs.

The report also evaluated various demographic groups to determine differences in health care affordability. The poll found families with incomes less than 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and those with poor health status were more likely to have difficulty affording care and more likely to delay care than those above 250 percent FPL. The report also shows that Hispanic and Black residents face greater difficulties affording health care.

Texas has both the highest number of uninsured adults and the highest uninsured rate in the country. This, combined with above average rates of poverty, likely contribute to residents’ difficulty in paying for health care and postponement of treatment.

You can read the full report here.