A majority of states procrastinated when it came to signing up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act and new numbers show Texas was in the top five in the number of people signing up at the last minute.
Texas had the third highest number people in the nation that signed up for an insurance plan in the last month of the ACA’s enrollment period. According to federal officials, the total number of Texans signing up for insurance through the federal marketplace was just under 800,000.
Tiffany Hogue is with the Texas Organizing Project, one of the chief groups working to get people signed up in Texas, and said they expected to see this type of spike but not a 150 percent increase within the last month.
"It shows the uptick that everyone was expecting but I don’t think anyone was expecting that level of uptick,” Hogue said.
One of the more noteworthy statistics is the higher than expected number of 18- 34 year olds, who represented 30 percent of the total number of Texans signing up for healthcare. But Hogue said the totals could’ve been higher.
“There were so many barriers that, frankly, Gov. Perry and Greg Abbott as attorney general tried to put in front of Texans getting access to affordable health care. From not accepting Medicaid expansion, which would’ve immediately covered over two million Texans, from additional rules and regulations for navigators -- basically scaring navigators -- Texas didn’t outreach to Texas residents as well about what options are available to them.”
Hogue said the challenge that remains is Medicaid expansion. She said the Texas solution for closing coverage gap is the next problem that groups like hers are focusing on.