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Texas Has Highest Rate of Uninsured

40% of Hispanics in Texas Have No Health Insurance
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Oct. 9, 2008 - About one in six people living in the U.S. under the age of 65 had no health insurance in 2005, but closer to 1 in 3 Hispanics were uninsured, newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau confirms.

Roughly one in four people living in Florida, Texas, and New Mexico lacked health insurance, while only one in 10 of those living in Minnesota and Hawaii were without coverage.

The new report includes some of the most detailed estimates ever of health insurance coverage rates by state and county.

Insurance coverage was broken down by race, and the data showed that Hispanics were far less likely to have health insurance than African-Americans and whites.

In Texas, 40.5% of Hispanics under age 65 had no health insurance, compared with 24.3% of blacks and 15.8% of whites.

Almost 40% of Hispanics living in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon, and South Carolina also had no health insurance.

"This is not an issue of people not working, it is an issue of working families not being about to afford coverage," Rea Panares of the health care advocacy group Families USA tells WebMD. "We are seeing that about 80% of people who are uninsured have a full time worker in the family."

Health Insurance by State

Texas had the highest percentage of uninsured residents under the age of 65, with 26.3% of the population lacking health coverage, followed by New Mexico, with 24.2% and Florida with 24.0%.

Minnesota had the lowest percentage of people without health insurance, with an uninsured rate of 9.5%, followed by Hawaii, with 9.7%, Wisconsin, with 10.3% and Iowa, with 10.4%

African-Americans living in Florida were more likely than those living in other states to have no health insurance, with 26.7% uninsured. Roughly one in four African-Americans living in Louisiana and Mississippi also lacked health insurance.

The state with the most uninsured white residents was Oklahoma, where 18.2% of whites had no insurance.

Hawaii had the lowest percentage of uninsured whites and African-Americans -- 7.4% and 11.4%, respectively.

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