Fewer Texans Get Insurance Through "Obamacare"

Steven Pickering
April 17, 2018 - 7:09 am

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - The number of people in Texas who signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act dipped slightly last year. Analysts with the Episcopal Health Foundation say some changes in the administration of the program likely played a role in the decline.

"The enrollment slipped a little bit...to 1.1 million," said Episcopal Health Foundation President and CEO Elena Marks, "from 1.2 million in the previous year."

EHF looked at federal data for a new report on the program in Texas. Marks says their analysts found some likely reasons for the slight decline in enrollment.

"There was a shorter open enrollment period...only six weeks as opposed to three months. There was a lot of confusion because of attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act," Marks said. "And in previous years, the federal government had awarded millions of dollars to local organizations that were helping people enroll...and that got cut back by 90 percent."

Their study found that 69% of enrollees last year were returning customers. "That means that people valued insurance and those who had it wanted to hang onto it," Marks said.

The EHF study relied on data published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.