Health Insurance: Grim picture for Florida - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Health Insurance: Grim picture for Florida

Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Millions of Americans are without health insurance. Moreover, with the debate over healthcare reform raging, new numbers out Tuesday morning from the U.S. Census paint a grim picture for Florida with more on where the state stands.

According to the U.S. Census, Florida is ranked the fourth-worst in the United States.

For the Sunshine State, 20.8 percent of its citizens are uninsured. The worst overall in the nation is Texas with 24.1 percent. Massachusetts ranks at the top spot with 4.1 percent lacking insurance coverage.

Florida

Children

17.5%

Adults 27%

Palm Beach County

Adults 27%
Children 17%

Martin County

Adults 26%
Children 14%

St. Lucie County

Adults 36%
Children 27%

Experts add that South Florida traditionally sees higher rates of uninsured due to the major industries in the region. Industries, such as hospitality and construction, often don't offer health care insurance. But the slow economy is making those numbers worse. For example, small businesses that are cutting employees hours make them ineligible for health coverage.

Officials with the Palm Beach County Health Care District, which funds medical services for the uninsured, say they've seen a 43 percent jump in people needing their services over the past year. With all of this, the debate over health care reform continues.

While there is disagreement as to what needs to be done, everyone seems to agree that something needs to be done.

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