Decision To Decline Medicaid Expansion Means Higher Premiums For Texans

Sep 4, 2013

A new study shows that Texans with private health insurance will pay 9.3 percent more than their current rate because of the decision by lawmakers and Gov. Rick Perry to opt out of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. 

Carter Price is with the Rand Corporation, the group commissioned by U.S. Health and Human Services to the study the issue. He said the group that would’ve been covered by Medicaid expansion is typically not as healthy as those with access to insurance.

"Now you have a pool of people that their premiums are based not on how sick they are or how much healthcare they use, it’s simply based on age," Price said. "When the pool of people are sicker, or you bring in more people that have higher expenses that’s going to raise everyone’s premiums in that pool."

He said the increase in rates won’t impact those purchasing insurance through the federal health exchange system, only those with private healthcare will see a jump in the coming year.

The study shows currently there are 6 million Texans are without insurance -- with the implementation of the health exchange that number will drop to 4.2 million. If the state would have signed on for Medicaid expansion it would have brought Texas’ uninsured rate down to 2.9 million.

In response to the study, Perry issued this statement:

"This is simply more propaganda from an administration desperate to hide the flaws of Obamacare. The fact of the matter is, the administration is championing new federal regulations that will drive up the cost of health insurance on consumers across the state. Instead of trying to shift the blame to the states that dare to oppose it."