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Maps Show Proximity of Uninsured to Enrollment Assistance in Texas Cities

by: Emily Cadik

Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 10:00 AM CST

Get Covered America recently released maps of five major Texas cities - Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio - showing where the uninsured live and where in-person enrollment assistance is available.

Since open enrollment began on the federal health exchange, over 200,000 Texans have gotten covered. But with the highest uninsured rate in the nation, Texas has a long way to go - millions more are eligible and have just over a month to enroll.  

"We know from both research and our work on the ground that one of the major factors that influences an uninsured person's decision to get enrolled is having a person nearby who can help support them in the process and answer their questions," said Mimi Garcia, Texas state director of Get Covered America and Enroll America. But in some Texas cities, connecting the uninsured to that in-person assistance is easier than in others.

See the maps showing how Texas cities fare below the jump.

Clearly more resources are needed statewide as we work to enroll the millions of uninsured Texans, but these maps help show where exactly they can have the greatest impact.

In Austin, we see a high concentration of uninsured people (in red) on the east side, which tracks fairly closely with the in-person assistance (in purple) - mostly close to the I-35 corridor, with several options on the east side. Austin has the lowest uninsured rate and the lowest total uninsured population of these five cities. That, paired with the fact that Austin is a smaller city, may help these in-person assistance resources go farther.

The in-person assistance options in Dallas appear fairly evenly distributed, with a decent number in the areas with the highest numbers of uninsured. Not bad in terms of geographic distribution, but with the fifth highest uninsured rate in the nation and over 660,000 uninsured, the city needs more in-person assistance, plain and simple.

Fort Worth's assistance is more or less concentrated in the areas it's needed most. But with almost 400,000 uninsured to reach, there are still clear gaps - like the south and southeast of the city.

Much like the city itself, the assistance in Houston is sprawling. But it's noticeably thinner in large swaths of the city where over 30 percent of the population is uninsured. According to Get Covered America, "Houston has more than 60 in-person assistance sites, yet only a handful are located east of I-45 and north of I-10, despite high concentrations of uninsured people in northeast Houston." With the second highest uninsured rate in the country and over 1.1 million uninsured spread out over such a large area, 60 in-person assistance sites probably won't cut it.

In San Antonio, the in-person assistance options are pretty thin inside the 410 loop, where almost the entire circumscribed area has an uninsured rate over 30 percent. There are more assistance options on the north and east sides, but that's not exactly where the high concentrations of uninsured live.

Larger images and the maps for Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston are available at the Get Covered America website. You can also look up how to get help enrolling in these five cities by using Get Covered America's local help locator tool.

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scam (0.00 / 0)
Much like the stimulus that created or saved x number of jobs. No real measurement of effectiveness. Although ACA enrollment is dismal if you look at the number of enrollees that lost health care due to the ACA its even worse. Without that Texas might have A.mere 20K new enrollees.  

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