Texans #1 Financial Worry By Far---the Cost of Health Care

The strong economy is making life easier for Texans in all but one key area, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

A new Kaiser Family Foundation survey shows it is easier for us to pay our rent or mortgage, pay for utilities and buy food, but medical care continues to be a hurdle.

The study was done in conjunction with the Episcopal Health Foundation.

Six in 10 Texans say they or somebody in their family 'recently skipped or postponed' care due to concerns about the cost, and almost four in ten say they have medical bills that they can't pay.

“Texans said that their state government should be doing more to help many people get access to health care and these numbers show why they feel that way,” said Elena Marks, EHF’s President and CEO. A previous KFF/EHF health poll in June found that two thirds of Texans say the state is not doing enough to help low-income adults get health care.

"Texans are even more likely than Americans overall to face real challenges affording health care,” KFF President and CEO Drew Altman said. “This likely reflects Texas’ uninsured rate, though the survey shows that even many residents with insurance are struggling to pay for needed care.”

With a majority of Texans passing on needed or scheduled health care, dental care is the area most frequently skipped.  44% of Texans say they have skipped dental care.  42% say they have skipped or postponed needed medical care, and 36% say they have not filled a prescription.  31% of Texans say they have cut pills in half or skipped doses, and 14% have had problems getting mental health care.

Texans report many problems affording health care at a significantly higher rate than adults nationwide. For example, a recent national KFF survey found a quarter (27%) of adults report problems paying medical bills in the past year, significantly fewer than the share among Texans (38%). Texas’ higher rates likely reflect lower average incomes and higher uninsured rates than the nation as a whole.


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