New report highlights the fact that Texas is falling behind the rest of the country when it comes to reducing the uninsured population
Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Episcopal Health Foundation have released a new report that shows that the number of those without health insurance in the United States has dropped considerably between 2013 and 2015. Notably, however, Texas is lagging behind when it comes to decreasing its uninsured population. The report shows that, across the U.S., the number of uninsured consumers dropped nearly twice as much as it has in Texas.
Number of those in Texas without insurance has dropped by 21% since 2013
The report shows that since enrollment in health insurance exchanges began in 2013, the uninsured population throughout the entirety of the United States fell by 41%. Many consumers have managed to find coverage through insurance exchanges, which also offered them access to subsidies that have made coverage more affordable for consumers. In Texas, however, the uninsured rate has only dropped by 21% since 2013. While Texas may be lagging behind, it has still seen a significant decrease in the number of those without health insurance coverage.
Low-income households are still not eligible for federal subsidies
According to the report, approximately 50% of households with incomes less than $27,000 a year still do not have health insurance. While subsidies from the federal government have helped many afford insurance coverage, many low-income consumers in Texas actually earn too much money to be eligible for these subsidies. Because they cannot afford coverage without financial aid, they opt to go without insurance, leaving them exposed to financial risks associated with health care as well as federal penalties.
Health insurance premiums are on the rise for 2016 coverage
Solving this problem may be quite complicated, especially as health insurance premiums are set to rise nearly universally in 2016. Insurers are facing greater financial losses as a result of more consumers having and using their health insurance coverage. With financial losses growing, and the cost of medical care expanding, insurers have been raising premiums throughout the country.