Significant gaps in Texas healthcare availability, coverage

Healthcare in Texas shows significant gaps in coverage, with nearly one-fourth of people not having access to a regular source of care, according to a new report from the University of Houston and Texas Southern University.

Researchers surveyed a total of 2,140 adults to analyze health insurance coverage, access to healthcare providers, and opinions on policies related to Medicaid and prescription drug prices, according to an Oct. 20 news release. 

The Texas Trends 2022 Health Care report indicates that 77 percent of respondents have a regular doctor, clinic, or similar source for healthcare and advice. Another 18 percent said doctor visits and medicine are too expensive. 

"Some of the world's most renowned hospitals and impressive medical research can be found in the state. But so can the country's lowest rate of health insurance coverage and surprisingly spotty access to hospitals and even basic medical care," said Gail Buttorff, PhD, director of the Center for Public Policy at the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs. 

While assessing total healthcare coverage, researchers found that insurance policies from employers or unions covered 29 percent of respondents, Medicare covered 23 percent, and 13 percent were covered with Medicaid. The highest rate of uninsured was among millennials and Gen Z, where 11 percent lacked any form of healthcare coverage. Additionally, 3 out of 10 people in the lowest income group reported that they did not have a regular doctor, clinic, or other healthcare sources.

A significant number of survey respondents said they were unsure or did not know about healthcare issues they were asked about, which may indicate a need to provide more information and education to residents, according to the report.

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