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Obamacare Sign-ups Lag in Texas

Obamacare Sign-ups Lag in Texas

A very weak 118,000 of the estimated 6.2 million uninsured Texans have been able to find health insurance on the healthcare.gov Obamacare exchange, according to figures released by the Department of Health and Human Services.

 

  Officials tell 1200 WOAI news that more than half of the people who have purchased coverage are between the ages of 45 and 64, indicating additional serious problems with Obamacare, which must enroll young people who won't use health insurance in order to pay the costs of older participants whose costs are capped under the law.

 

  About 75% of those who signed up have received a federal subsidy to help pay for their insurance, and 47,000 were found to be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP plans.

 

  Dr. Stephen Brotherton of the Texas Medical Association says one reason why more Texans have not signed up for Obamacare is the complexity of the system.

 

  "If you have never had insurance, or if you had insurance through an employer and your employer has withdrawn coverage for you, just think how complicated that would be," Brotherton told 1200 WOAI's Berit Mason.

 

  Even though Texas is the second largest state in terms of population, we are fourth in signing up people for Obamacare.  New York and Florida, both of which have significantly smaller populations than Texas, have signed up more people than Texas.

 

  Even if you add the 457,000 people who have applied for coverage and not chosen plans yet, that remains a small fraction of the total number of uninsured Texans.  Texas has an estimated 24% uninsured rate, the highest in the nation.

 

  Brotherton says something else that is slowing down enrollments is confusion over which type of coverage to select.

 

  "So we're trying to explain to people, what is your part of this, what is your copayment when you have each of these different policies," he said.

 

  The total number of people who have signed up for health insurance under Obamacare is less than one third of the estimated 350,000 uninsured in Bexar County alone.

 

 

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