Health care prices are unsustainably high and rising, which are causing individuals to skip needed care, while also harming business growth and opportunities for employers.

Health care prices in Texas are unaffordable and continue to rise at unsustainable levels. The total premium for employer-sponsored insurance — which covers about half the population — to cover a family averaged more than $22,000 in 2022. That’s about one-third of the median household income in Texas. Price increases have made care unaffordable, even for the insured: Over half of Texans with health insurance report skipping care due to cost. Meanwhile, nearly 17% of Texans lack any health insurance, creating substantial financial and health risks for this population.

Safety net programs are under-utilized by those eligible for existing programs, contributing heavily to Texas’ worst-in-the-nation uninsured rate. Over half of uninsured Texans are eligible for free or government-subsidized health insurance programs, but are unenrolled. While media attention has focused on Medicaid Expansion — a fiscally smart choice for Texas should we choose to take it — expansion would only solve for about 16% of the uninsured population. Increasing uptake among the eligible but unenrolled population will be necessary to address Texas’ uninsured problem, regardless of whether we expand eligibility for Medicaid.

All policy is health policy. While improving access to affordable quality care is important, so much of what impacts overall health is related to day-to-day non-medical factors: what kind of job you have, where you live, your level of physical activity, the air you breathe, the food you eat and the water you drink. By making meaningful improvements in education, workforce, infrastructure and natural resources, we can have a significant impact on the health of Texans.

Health Care Staff

Policy & Data

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Who are the Uninsured in Texas?

Texas 2036 conducted a multi-year study to identify systemic, behavioral and psychological obstacles to Texans having access to Texans gaining affordable coverage. (Last updated January 2024)

Health Price Transparency Dashboard

This tool evaluates compliance across the state, including filters by region and senate district, of all 644 Texas hospitals subject to state and federal price transparency rules. Explore visualizations of actual prices for certain health care services and procedures by hospital, payer and region with periodic expansion of datasets. (Last updated Fall 2022)

Texas 2036 Health Coverage Policy Explorer

Health Coverage Policy Explorer

This tool allows all Texans – both policymakers and the public – to explore policy alternatives and combine policies to maximize both the number of covered Texans and federal funding streams, including options to expand Medicaid statewide or for certain populations, such as post-partem mothers, and make important changes to address access and affordability of coverage on the Affordable Care Act Exchange, such adopt fixed-rate review or create a state-based exchange. (Last updated Spring 2021)

Key Insights