Amid Coronavirus Crisis, Study Shows San Antonio Residents Lag Nation in Health Coverage

click to enlarge PEXELS / VIDAL BALIELO JR.
Pexels / Vidal Balielo Jr.
With concerns about health insurance soaring during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report shows 17% of people in San Antonio have no coverage — the 7th highest rate of any big U.S. city.

The study by Self Financial ranks cities by the percentage of people without health insurance, and five of the 10 large metros with the worst insurance rates are in Texas. Dallas, with an uninsured rate of 24.4%, topped the list.

The study is only the latest to point out that Texas, as a whole, is among the most uninsured states in the nation. Why is that?

For one, many Texans are unable to afford private insurance or work for small businesses that don’t offer insurance. Additionally, some in poor health have trouble finding affordable insurance plans despite laws preventing insurers from refusing coverage.

What's more, the state, under Gov. Greg Abbott, has repeatedly refused to expand Medicaid, a move that would immediately qualify 1.5 million additional Texans for expanded coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Between 2010 and 2017, the U.S. uninsured rate dropped from 15.5 to 8.7 percent, according to Self. However, new figures from the U.S. Census Bureau place the national uninsured rate at 8.9 percent for 2018, likely due to factors such as rising premiums and fewer insurers participating in the embattled Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

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