These Cities And States Have The Highest And Lowest Uninsured Rates In 2018
Health insurance is expensive and can be difficult to navigate. So it’s not a surprise that there are a lot of people in the U.S. without coverage. In fact, there are certain cities and states that are more uninsured than others.
According to a recent study from WalletHub, Mission, Texas (near the Mexican border), is the city with the highest uninsured rate in the country in 2018. More than 32 percent of Mission, Texas is uninsured. The study looked at 547 cities to determine uninsured rates across children, adults, ethnicities and household income levels.
While Mission, Texas, took last in the rankings, WalletHub found that Union City, California (near San Francisco), has the lowest uninsured rate in the country. Less than 1 percent of Union City, California, is uninsured. In fact, eight California cities ranked in the top 10 with the lowest uninsured rates, while eight Texas cities ranked in the top 10 with the highest uninsured rates.
WalletHub also found that Texas is the state with the highest uninsured rate in the country. More than 17 percent of Texas is uninsured. On the flip side, Massachusetts is the state with the lowest uninsured rate in the country. Less than 3 percent of Massachusetts is uninsured. (The study looked at overall insurance rates across the 50 states in 2017 using U.S. Census Bureau data. WalletHub examined it by age, ethnicity and income.)
Health insurance is really important.
While health insurance rates can be really expensive, so can a visit to the doctor or emergency room when you don’t have any insurance. Even if you’re just going in to have a doctor look at a cut on your hand, you could end up paying hundreds of dollars for a bandage or thousands for an ice pack after leaving the ER.
Additionally, those without health insurance for three or more months in 2018 will have to pay a tax penalty come April 2019. The fee is due during income tax season and is $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, up to a maximum of $2,085 per family or 2.5 percent of household income — whichever is greater. The fee is waived for those without health coverage for less than three months in 2018. In 2019, this fee will be waived for all.
Before you lose out on a lot of money from not having health insurance, do your research and find a plan that’s right for you. Open enrollment for 2019 starts on November 1 and ends December 15, 2018. Consider all of your options through your employer, as well as all the other plans available to you through the Health Insurance Marketplace at healthcare.gov.
Your finances are important, but by not paying for health insurance you risk the chance of illness. If you get sick, you won’t be able to thrive in your career and finances and could end up paying the ultimate price. Consider your options and then make the decision that’s best for you.
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