Outcome: Children are Physically Healthy
10.5% of children under 18 in Travis County lacked health insurance in 2014.
Significance of Indicator: Health insurance improves a person's health and their ability to get an education and achieve and maintain productive employment reports the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Currently, the U.S. Government and taxpayers spend billions of dollars caring for the uninsured.
How we are doing on this Indicator: From 2008 to 2013, the rate of uninsured children and youth in Travis County decreased continuously. However, there are disparities in the rates of uninsured children and youth by race and ethnicity.
what the data tell us
Definition: Percentage of individuals under 18 who lack health insurance
Data Source: American Community Survey - 1-year Estimates, 2008-2014
Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation's population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data.
The Story Behind the Indicator
The Census Bureau’s 2011 American Community Survey reported an estimated 13.2% of Texas children under the age of 18 were uninsured compared to the national average of 7.5%. Travis County fairs only slightly better than the state as a whole, with 9.8% of its children uninsured. Texas has one of the most stringent Medicaid and CHIP eligibility criteria in the nation. It is only 1 of 3 states that requires family to meet an asset test for Medicaid and 1 of 2 for CHIP. The Center for Public Policy Priorities Reports that notable improvements in the Medicaid and CHIP eligibility and enrollment systems yielded a substantial increase in children’s Medicaid and CHIP enrollment. In the last half of 2009, Texas reduced delays, errors, and backlogs, allowing the children’s insurance safety net to enroll more children, helping families in need during hard economic times.
Some Local Efforts to Improve this Indicator
- ICC members screen individuals for public health insurance programs and assist families with the application process. ICC is developing technology that would allow agencies, with client permission, to share client documents.
- Central Health implements the Medical Assistance Program (MAP) for low income Travis County residents not eligible for CHIP/Medicaid.
- Catholic Charities and other agencies assist families with the CHIP/Medicaid application. Families can call 211 Option 1 for more information
A Closer Look at the Story Behind the Indicators
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