This year’s deadline to sign up for health insurance through healthcare.gov is Dec. 15, while chances are good that Texas residents will be able to find a plan with a monthly premium of $10 or less.
So says Joshua Peck, co-founder of Get America Covered. Three out of four Texans who get insurance through healthcare.gov this year have access to plans costing $10 or less a month, he said. That’s important to know, since a lot of people think insurance is beyond their reach — even those who understand how important it is for their families, he said.
“This is really important, because we know from research that people expect health care coverage to be very expensive,” Peck said. “They assume that they cannot afford it.”
Last year, nearly one in three Texas residents had access to plans with a zero dollar monthly premium and still did not take advantage of coverage — this in a state with a 17.7% uninsured rate, the highest in the nation, he said. Over 1 million Texans with insurance through healthcare.gov last year had access to plans with zero monthly premiums, Peck said.
He co-founded Get America Covered with partner Lori Lodes in 2017 just before the start of the first healthcare.gov open enrollment period run entirely by the Trump administration. The two had previously overseen healthcare.gov outreach and awareness campaigns for the Obama administration.
“When we saw the Trump administration was cutting outreach by 90% and in-person assistance by 84%, we felt compelled to do what we could to try to get the word out,” Peck said.
He said a lot of people don’t even realize insurance is still available through the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty about whether or not the ACA is still in place but it most definitely is,” Peck said. “Actually in Texas there are some incredible health plans available to people. I think a lot of people would be quite surprised to hear what’s available in Texas.”
Those who miss the Dec. 15 deadline to sign up will have to wait until Nov. 1, 2020, to get another shot, he said.
“If you think that coverage is unaffordable, you really should go to healthcare.gov to fill out an application and see what you qualify for,” Peck said. “It is common for people to have these ultra-low-cost plans available as an option.”
For more information log onto www.healthcare.gov.