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Texas Has Over 200,000 Newly Insured Texans, But Millions More to Go

by: Emily Cadik

Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 06:00 PM CST

According to the latest data from HHS, 207,546 Texans are newly enrolled in health insurance. That's more people who have enrolled than any other state except Florida. Nationwide, 3.3 million people have enrolled, exceeding the government's expectations for the first time since the federal marketplace opened. And more young people are signing up, with their share of the new enrollments increasing at a faster rate than other groups. Better late than never!

The enrollment deadline for 2014 is March 31. And while 200,000+ is a lot of newly insured Texans, we started out with 6 million uninsured. Some are ineligible - for instance, the 1 million stuck in the Medicaid coverage gap - but there are still millions more who can and should enroll.

"Texas has millions of uninsured people who qualify for financial assistance in the new marketplace and other help, and many just don't know about it," according to Get Covered America. "Texans should know that 8 out of 10 Texans who have enrolled so far got financial help and tax subsidies to bring down the cost of their plan."

Read about how to help fellow Texans enroll and see enrollment stories after the jump.

In anticipation of the March 31 deadline, Get Covered America is hosting a statewide volunteer training day on February 22, with locations in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio and Waco. Volunteers will learn how to talk to consumers about their options and have the greatest impact in the days leading up to the deadline.

The Texas Organizing Project is stepping up its game too. "Today's enrollment figures are more proof that Texans are ready and willing to push past the barriers that Governor Perry have put in the way of the new Health Care law  in order to sign up for coverage," said Texas Organizing Project Executive Director Ginny Goldman. "With the nation's highest rate of uninsured and just over 45 days remaining in the enrollment period, TOP is doubling our efforts to let uninsured Texas families know how to sign up for health plans. Additionally, with new state regulations on navigators, it is critical that the Texas Department of Insurance quickly process navigators' applications so they are not blocked from enrolling people in the last month of enrollment."

Because with more outreach, we can enroll more people like Jason Roberts - a Dallas-area cancer survivor whose story Congressman Marc Veasey shared. Jason had been paying huge out-of-pocket expenses under his already-expensive and time-limited COBRA health coverage. Now that Jason is cancer-free and enrolled in a plan through the ACA, he is receiving care he can afford for his ongoing post-cancer treatments. It's one story out of many showing how people's lives are made better though the Affordable Care Act. And with enough work, there could be millions more like his.

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