Since 2013, the number of people who live in Texas who are currently covered with health insurance has grown by 20 percent under the health care reform bill enforced by the federal government. But according to a series of reports released recently, health insurance in Texas is lagging behind the rest of the country.
It is unknown how many people who enrolled in the subsidized health insurance plans offered by the federal government, as the Obama administration has yet to confirm an exact number. But a study held by the consulting firm Milliman reports that the health insurance in Texas under the Affordable Care Act has increased by approximately 760,000 people.
To put that into perspective, that is just about 63 percent of the people in Texas who enrolled in the Affordable Care Act and received health insurance coverage last year, which, according to the Obama administration, is approximately 1.2 million people with health insurance in Texas alone. Yet, the Milliman consulting form found that there has been a 20 percent increase in the total number of Texans who live in the state and currently have insurance. This 4.49 million people who live in the state of Texas with insurance is an increase from the number of Texans who had insurance in 2013, in which case, the reported number is 3.73 million.
Even with those impressive Health Insurance Texas numbers, a different report released the Episcopal Health Foundation in Houston that was published more recently found that health insurance in Texas lags behind other states in enrolling its’ residents in the Affordable Care Act.
According to the Foundations report, which was published as a joint venture with the Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, the number of adults who remain uninsured decreased nearly two times much in the entire nation than health insurance in Texas did from 2013 through 2015.
The study reports that the rate of uninsured adults in the nation has decreased by 41 percent since the start of the Obama Care legislation. Health insurance in Texas, failing to meet the mark, only managed to garner a 21 percent decrease in uninsured adults during the same time frame.
Elena Marks, the president and chief executive of the the Episcopal Health Foundation commented by saying that “the good news is that Texans, like all Americans, saw meaningful drops in the rates of uninsured since the ACA began.” “However, Texas still has the most uninsured adults in the nation, and Texans with the lowest incomes continue to get health insurance coverage at a rate far below anyone else.”
When evaluated separately, the uninsured rate of adults in Texas considered to have low-income went down 15 percent. That is the lowest percentage of decrease in coverage when compared to all other social and economic groups in the health insurance Texas, as reported.
Residents can continue to acquire health insurance in Texas through the enrollment period, which ends on January 3, 2016.
According to the Episcopal Health Foundation, almost half of the residents of Texas whose household income per year falls below $27,000 are still uninsured. One of the problems presented in the report indicates that federal tax credits, which make insurance more affordable, have not been made available to low-income residents of health insurance Texas.
Health insurance in Texas declined the federal-state insurance program expansion that would have allowed as many as 1 million poverty stricken residents to become eligible for Medicaid expansion. While the tenet of the federal health law was optional, Republican state leaders disapproved of the expansion, describing it as inefficient and further questioning why the government should bear the cost of insuring able-bodied adults.
All while the low-income residents have been seemingly denied access to Health insurance in Texas, wealthier residents have experienced dramatic growth in the number of residents to become insured under the Affordable Care Act, as explained in the Milliman report.
Commissioned by the Texas Association of Health Plans, the study reports that the most explosive gains under federal health reform plan, out of all of the markets, was within the individual health insurance in Texas. The number to residents who purchased health insurance on their own outside of their employer, increased 115 percent since the start of the Affordable Care Act. That means in 2013, there were 695,000, and in just two years, the number jumped up to 1.5 million. According to the report, the individual sector now accounts for one-third of the entire Texas health insurance market.
The Affordable Care Act required plans to provide coverage for a wider range of services and at a rapid pace. According to the report, that caused a lot of Health Insurance Texas residents to cancel their previous coverage and switch to services delivered under the act. Only half of the residents with individual coverage remained with their plan they had decrease by more than 50 percent, with only 17 percent of Texan’s who are individually insured enrolled in their original plans.
According to Jamie Dudensing, the chief executive of the Texas Association of Health Plans the effect of the Affordable Care Act on the health insurance in Texas has been “significant, with a substantial increase in the number of Texans gaining health insurance in the traditional fully insured market and an explosive growth of the individual market.”