Evaluating the Harris County TexHealth 3-Share Plan: An exploratory study

Jennifer Mineo, The University of Texas School of Public Health


An important health issue in the United States today is the large number of people who have problems accessing needed health care because they lack health insurance coverage. Providing health insurance coverage for the working uninsured is a particularly significant challenge in Texas, which has the highest percentage of uninsured in the nation. In response to the low rate of employer-sponsored coverage in the Houston area and the growing numbers of uninsured, the Harris County Health Care Alliance (HCHA) developed and implemented the Harris County 3-Share Plan. A 3-Share Plan is not insurance, but provides health coverage in the form of a benefits package to employers who subscribe to the program and offer it to their employees. A cross sectional study design was conducted to describe 3-Share employer and employee participants and evaluate their outcomes after its first year of operation. Between September and December 2011, 85% of employers enrolled in the 3-Share Plan completed a survey about the affordability of the 3-Share Plan, their satisfaction with the Plan, and the Plan's impact on employee recruitment, retention, productivity, and absenteeism. Forty-five percent of employees enrolled in the 3-Share Plan responded to a survey asking about the affordability of the 3-Share plan, accessibility of health care, availability of providers on the plan, health plan availability, utilization of primary care providers and the ER, and satisfaction with the plan. A summary of the findings shows employers and employees say that they joined the plan because of the low-cost, and once they had participated in the Plan, the majority of employers and employees found that it is affordable for them. The majority of employees say they are getting access easily and without delay, but for those who aren't able to get access, or are delayed, the main cause is related to non-financial barriers to care. Ultimately, employees are satisfied with the 3-Share, and they plan to continue with health coverage under the 3-Share Plan. The 3-Share Plan will keep people in a system of care, and promote health, which will benefit the individuals, the businesses and the community of Harris County.

Subject Area

Public health|Health care management

Recommended Citation

Mineo, Jennifer, "Evaluating the Harris County TexHealth 3-Share Plan: An exploratory study" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3542721.