Texas Health Insurance
While it still has the highest uninsured rate in the nation, Texas has seen some reduction in its uninsured population since the Affordable Care Act took effect. Health insurance options for Texans include plans sold through the state’s federally facilitated Obamacare exchange and in the private marketplace using websites such as Apterian.com, coverage available through employers, and programs such as Medicaid and CHIP.
Texas and the Affordable Care Act
Prior to the 2014 open enrollment period, governor Rick Perry announced that the state would not establish an exchange. As a result, Texas defaulted to a federally facilitated health insurance exchange. Residents who want to take advantage of Obamacare subsidies must enroll in qualified health plans through the health insurance marketplace.
Those who do not qualify for income-based premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies may want to explore their health plan options in the private marketplace. Apterian.com provides Texas health insurance quotes for ACA-compliant major medical plans as well as other healthcare benefits including short-term health, supplemental health, dental and Medicare supplement plans.
Texas small business owners with 50 or fewer full-time employees can offer employee benefits federal Small Business Health Insurance Options Program (SHOP).
Medicaid expansion in Texas
Texas is among the states that have not expanded Medicaid to single, low-income adults. Texans who want to enroll in Medicaid must qualify based on criteria set by the state. Eligibility and application information for Medicaid is available at http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/.
Texas offers benefits to low-income, uninsured children through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Information about CHIP is available at https://chipmedicaid.org/.
Texas has taken a huge leap in the national health rankings since 2008, when it sat in the 46th position in the United States. Since then Texas has leapt to the 31st position due to a decrease in smoking, low drug-related deaths and an increase in childhood immunizations.
What can Texas improve upon? The percentage of residents lacking health insurance needs to be lowered, and the amount of primary car physicians per capita across the state needs to rise. If the state works hard on these measures and all the others that are decreasing its health status, Texas could improve.