Monday, November 21, 2016

About 1 million Texans gained health care coverage due to Affordable Care Act

Public Release: 17-Nov-2016
About 1 million Texans gained health care coverage due to Affordable Care Act
Rice University

Texas has experienced a roughly 6 percentage-point increase in health insurance coverage from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to new research by experts at Rice University and the Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF). This translates into just under 1 million Texans who have gained coverage due to President Barack Obama's health care law.

The new findings published in the American Journal of Public Health examined the effects of the ACA's Marketplace on Texas residents and determined which population subgroups benefited the most and the least.

"The recent criticism of the program's high premiums for next year ignores the benefits the legislation has provided to many Texans and the fact that policymakers are now identifying options to slow that premium growth," said research co-author Vivian Ho, the chair in health economics at Rice's Baker Institute for Public Policy and director of the institute's Center for Health and Biosciences.

The researchers analyzed insurance coverage rates among nonelderly Texas adults using the Health Reform Monitoring Survey-Texas from September 2013, just before the first open-enrollment period in the marketplace, through March 2016. They found that gains have been uneven and that the four subgroups with the largest increases in adjusted insurance coverage between 2013 and 2016 were people ages 50 to 64 years (12.1 percentage points), Hispanics (10.9 percentage points), people reporting fair or poor health status (10.2 percentage points) and those with a high school diploma as their highest educational attainment (9.2 percentage points).

"Even with these gains, 3 million Texans between the ages of 19 and 64 remain uninsured," said co-author Elena Marks, EHF's president and CEO and a nonresident health policy fellow at the Baker Institute. "An estimated 766,000 of these would likely have gained coverage if Texas had elected the Medicaid expansion offered under the ACA."


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