Texas leads nation in Obamacare enrollments

Texas leads nation in Obamacare enrollments

POSTED: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 12:00pm

UPDATED: Monday, December 16, 2013 - 6:24pm

More people in Texas have purchased health plans through the embattled online insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act than in any other state, according to enrollment figures for October and November released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

But as a percentage of the uninsured in the second-largest state — which has the nation's worst rate of health coverage — the number is tiny: 14,000 Texans had purchased coverage through healthcare.gov by the end of November.

The number of people who purchased coverage in the federal marketplace, which has been riddled with technical problems, was four times higher in November than in October: 137,204 people, including 14,000 Texans, had purchased coverage there as of the end of November, whereas only 27,000 people, including 3,000 Texans, had purchased coverage there at the end of October.

“Evidence of the technical improvements to HealthCare.gov can be seen in the enrollment numbers,” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, said in a press statement.

Pennsylvania had the second-highest enrollment figures, with 11,800 people purchasing coverage in the federal marketplace. 2.2 million people, including 245,000 Texans, have now completed applications through the federal marketplace.

Texas has the nation's highest rate of people without health insurance at 24.6 percent, according to U.S. Census data. About 48 million Americans — including more than 6 million Texans — were uninsured in 2011 and 2012.

President Obama’s signature health reform law requires most Texans to carry health insurance by March 31. Texas is one of 36 states participating in the federal marketplace because Texas' Republican majority, which vehemently opposes the federal health law, declined to establish a state-based insurance marketplace.

Sebelius has been under fire since Oct. 1, when the launch of the federal marketplace proved disastrous. Although the federal government has brought in new leadership and staff to fix the website, state officials are still concerned that the website is not running smoothly. For example, Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Kyle Janek has questioned the accuracy of patient information sent to his agency to enroll applicants in Medicaid.

State leaders have also raised concerns that the federal navigator program, which trains people to help the uninsured find health coverage in the federal marketplace, does not offer adequate consumer privacy protections. The Texas Department of Insurance is in the process of approving additional regulations on federal “navigators,” which would require additional training, background checks and prohibit conflicts of interest.

U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, also scheduled a federal hearing in Richardson next month to investigate the navigator program in response to a series of videos released by Project Veritas, a conservative group led by James O’Keefe. The videos show federal navigators in Texas breaking program rules. Project Veritas released its fourth video on Wednesday, and says five navigators have been fired as a result of its investigations.

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i went to sign up for obamacare and i cant afford what they offer ..... im a family of four on an income of 15 thousand a year and have 90 left to my name a month maybe and obamacares cheapest plan for the "poor people" is 300 bucks.........explan how im going to be able to afford this crap.....

Ashley, you can thank Rick Perry and our Republican legislature for not expanding Medicaid for your troubles. The ACA increased the eligibility thresholds in states that chose to expand, and you most definitely would have qualified. Because our state officials cannot bear the thought of doing anything good for the people of Texas if Barack Obama even mentions it, you are left out.

Write, call, email, and interact on social media with Perry and your state rep and senator.

You would have been covered under medicade had the republicans and rick perry not turned it down so thank them for screwing you.ashley

Yea Pete, you and Don would be proud of something that forces and threatens you to get even though you cant really afford it and you can't afford the fines if you don't either. That's a real win win situation is it not? Its not about having insurance, I think everyone should have it, but unlike the name " Affordable Care Act " it is not affordable for lots of people who can barley get by as it is,you forget we are in a recession. We send our jobs overseas and illegals have a big % of the rest.

Well suz, If rick Perry and the republicans had not turned down the billions in medicade expansion money for those people who can barley get by as it is, they would be insured.

I have been paying for their medical bills for many years in higher premiums. If I qualified for the ACA , I could get the same policy I have right now for $423 less per month than what I currently pay. Sound affordable to me.

Is that the same policy you said in another post a while back that there were 3 or 4 family members on and it cost you somewhere around $570.00 a month?

No I currently pay as I have said every time $598. a month and if I qualified for ObamaCare I would be paying $172. a month for a savings of $426 a month

"Spot on Pete" is laughing so hard it is beginning to hurt...deaf, Sheila "miss-guided" Jackson, et al, who post like the broken records they've become, have just got to realize that their feeble nasty lies aren't going to go anywhere...one knows that the success of the ACA is probably going to make your heads explode, but just think...hundreds of thousands of previously uninsured Texans, let alone millions of Americans, are going to benefit from good healthcare, just like you do...clowns all!!

NOBODY wants Obamacare SJ ??

Looks to me like 14 K + 245 K = 259 K Texans want ObamaCare.

14,000 Texans had purchased coverage through healthcare.gov. 245,000 Texans, have now completed applications through the federal marketplace.

You'd better go back to school SJ, 14 K have bought insurance and another 245,000 Texans, have now completed applications through the federal marketplace. NOT BAD FOR 2 MONTHS

You are spot on pete

This is absolutely outstanding!! For a state with leaders who are so against the Affordable Healthcare program, this is so beautifully laughable...in-your-face for all t-swillers and radical right-of-right conservative folks...it must tear these flap-jawed loud-mouth dips to shreds to see this report of on-going success for the ACA in Texas...the only answer for the naysayers is to build the wall around the u\United State of Texas, write a new strict constitution, and have at it your way.

I went on the web site to try see if anyone was selling health insurance I could afford to get for my adult, disabled daughter (2x cancer and fiboromyalgia) who is slowly working her way through the bureaucracy, trying to get some assistance (doctor's won't sign a release for her to work.) Only thing I found in our area is some Blue Cross-Blue Shield garbage that would cost me most of my discretionary funds left over after bills are paid. Affordable Care? Horrible deductibles and copays.

I would *dearly* love to see documentation of your ridiculous claim.

How old is your "adult daughter" that *you* are buying the insurance?

And if BCBS is the only company providing policies (that's the damnedest lie I've ever heard) that's not the fault of the Affordable Care Act; that's the fault of the *insurance companies*

Where does the GOP keep finding you dolts?

Sorry to hear about your daughters condition. I bet she would have qualified for the Medicade Expansion if Rick Perry and the Texas republicans had not turned it down. I do not know what your income is, but I pay 598 a month for ins. and would save about 423 a month with the plans I saw 4 what I have now.

Post an address and we real Christians will assist you with some of her medical cost WITHOUT expecting a receipt in return for a tax deduction.

You'd better go back to school Pete, 14 K is a miserably pathetic number. With 27 million citizens and with 8 of the 20 highest populated cities in the USA, Texas sends a clear and undeniable message that NOBODY wants Obamacare.

Yea yea.... sure. 14,000 Texans. Medicare people.

The young refuse to be ripped off so they won't join (and I don't blame them.)

Hope for change in 2014. Still a few Democrats in Texas to vote out.

Why would a Medicare person have to sign up? They've had an excellent health plan since the '60. What are you talking about?

Medicare people deaf???

Texas did not expand Medicare deaf. Any more BS deaf?

14,000 Texans have bought insurance deaf and another 200 thousand + Texas applications

Medicaid, Don. Medicaid. Not Medicare.

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