Health Reform Monitoring Survey – Texas, Issue Brief #8: Affordability of Marketplace Plans in the Largest Metropolitan Areas of Texas
Ho, Vivian; Marks, Elena
Lower income Texans are much more likely to be uninsured than higher income residents of the state. Data collected by the Urban Institute and the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid indicate that in 2011-2012, 26% of individuals in Texas households with incomes between 139% and 250% of the federal poverty level were uninsured. The percent uninsured declined to 13% for households earning between 251% and 399% of the FPL, and to 10% for households earning 400%+ of the FPL. One of the strategies for making health care more attainable under the Affordable Care Act is the provision of tax credits to purchase insurance in state-based marketplaces for persons earning between 139% and 399% of the federal poverty level. We refer to this group as the “Target Population.” In June 2014, 15% or 1.5 million individuals in the Target Population in Texas remained uninsured. In Issue Brief 6, we reported that almost half of the people in this income category did not buy a policy in 2014, because the costs were too high, or they did not have enough money. In this issue brief, we present and compare the premiums that were offered in the Texas marketplace for those who did and did not qualify for tax credits in the four largest cities in Texas.