The Legislature Can Slash the Uninsured Rate for Texas Kids

Almost half of Texas’ uninsured children are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP health coverage but are not enrolled. Unintended bureaucratic barriers often prevent families from enrolling their children.

These challenges contribute to the state’s high uninsured rate for children, 10.9%, which is the worst in the nation. The data show this challenge includes Texas children of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, affecting communities statewide in areas like West Texas, the Lubbock region, and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Our state’s clunky, manual-driven eligibility system has led to an average of 88 days for a Medicaid application to be processed, despite record staffing and mandatory overtime for eligibility workers.

The Legislature has the opportunity to address these challenges by focusing on technological upgrades for our eligibility system and data-driven eligibility determinations to streamline enrollment processes to ensure timely access to essential health coverage for Texas children.

Read our full testimony to the Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee about ensuring eligible children can enroll in Medicaid/CHIP health coverage.