A study by Texas 2036, a nonprofit public policy organization, found that nearly 5 million Texans are uninsured – the highest percentage in any U.S. state – and many are eligible for free or subsidized coverage. The research revealed that between 55% and 70% of the uninsured population is estimated to be eligible for some kind of program – whether a subsidized Affordable Care Act (ACA) program, Medicaid, or CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). The study also noted a lack of awareness about these programs and their affordability, with the main reason for not having insurance being the high cost.
Subsidized Health Insurance Might Benefit Millions of Uninsured Texans, Study Reveals
During the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period, a recent study reveals that millions of uninsured Texans may qualify for either free or subsidized health insurance coverage.
Texas-based senior policy advisor Charles Miller and his team at Texas 2036, a nonprofit public policy organization, aimed to take a comprehensive look at the state’s uninsured issue. The studies show Texas leading nationwide, with 16% (~5 million) of its residents without health coverage.
Aiming to understand the reasons behind these statistics, Texas 2036 conducted extensive surveys and focus groups. They discovered that the primary reason for lack of insurance is affordability, a perception they believe does not align with current reality.
Miller pointed out a significant lack of awareness about affordability and eligibility for various programs. The study found that approximately 55% to 70% of the uninsured population might be eligible for programs such as subsidized ACA, Medicaid, or CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program).
Moreover, the research estimates that about 30% of these uninsured individuals may qualify for a free plan through the Affordable Care Act.
“Insurance plan affordability has significantly improved in the last few years,” said Miller. “Increased subsidies and actions at both federal and state levels make many plan options less expensive now.”
Open enrollment is currently ongoing, with a rising number of scam calls pretending to be from Medicare already reported to the BBB scam tracker.
Additional Findings From the Texas 2036 Study
The Texas 2036 study also explored potential effects of Medicaid expansion, a step taken by other states. The data suggests this expansion could help but wouldn’t wholly address the issue as many uninsured Texans earn middle-class incomes.
Job layoffs in recent years may also contribute to Texas’ high uninsured rate, as many uninsured individuals attribute their status to employment-related reasons. Miller emphasized that this reflects a misperception, as insurance can be obtained through individual marketplaces, not just employers.
The open enrollment period concludes on January 16. Miller stressed, “Help is available. Navigators, community groups, and third-party brokers can assist with the enrollment process.”
For more insights from Texas 2036’s study on Texas’ uninsured population, visit their report here.