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Texas retains position as state with highest rate of uninsured residents

Posted On Wed, March 13, 2013

A new poll indicates that the second-largest state in the U.S. has the largest percentage of people who don't have health insurance.

According to a new survey conducted by Gallup, Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country, with nearly 29 percent of Texans lacking health coverage in 2012. It's the fifth consecutive year in which the Lone Star State has had this distinction.

Not far from Texas is Louisiana, a state where roughly one-quarter of its citizens don't have the health coverage they need to pay for medical treatments and tests, requiring them to pay for any medical costs out of pocket.

Nevada, California and Florida, respectively, round out the states with the highest percentage of uninsured residents at roughly 23 percent, differentiated by a few tenths of a percent.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are the states whose residents are the most likely to be insured. At 4.5 percent, the state with the lowest percentage of uninsured residents is Massachusetts, according to the Gallup poll.

A few years ago, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a law requiring residents in the Bay State to obtain coverage. Many people have compared it to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the national bill that will require people to purchase coverage regardless of health insurance rates.

In a distant second is Vermont, the poll reveals. The Green Mountain State has an uninsured rate of 9.2 percent, followed by Delaware at 9.6 percent, Connecticut at 9.9 percent and Hawaii at 10.5 percent.

Since the PPACA was passed, nearly half of the country has given indications to the government that they will set up health insurance marketplaces, which will enable residents to purchase coverage through the state rather than a private insurer. New Hampshire, Iowa, Michigan and West Virginia were recently given conditional approval by the Department of Health and Human Services.

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