We already know that over 700,000 Texans are newly insured because of the Affordable Care Act. But what is it costing them? Not much.
New data from the Department of Health and Human Services shows that on average, Texans receiving federal subsidies for health insurance plans purchased through the federal marketplace are paying only $72 a month out of pocket – one of the lowest averages of any state. The average tax credit is $233 per month, meaning these Texans are paying less than 24 percent of what the plans would have cost without tax credits.
All told, Texans are saving $1.44 billion in health insurance premiums because of the tax credits provided under the ACA, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
See what else we've learned about the new enrollees after the jump.The immense savings for Texans mean that the low-income Texans who already had insurance can spend less on it, while the ones who could not afford it are now able to. “With 84 percent of Texans who signed up for coverage getting financial help, it's great to know that the average annual tax credit they received was almost $2,800,” said Mimi Garcia, Texas State Director for the Get Covered America campaign. “These savings are significant – about what the average person spends each year to fill up the gas tank of their car or truck.” But the good news goes beyond just savings.
Now that there has been more time to process who successfully got health insurance during the recent open enrollment period, we're learning more about the profile of newly insured Americans – and dispelling some myths about the ACA. For one, close to 60 percent of the people who bought health insurance in the marketplace were previously uninsured. Opponents of the law had claimed that the vast majority of people who bought plans on the marketplace with tax credits would be people who already had plans, but would now just be getting them cheaper. Turns out that's not the case.
Another myth was that there would be no choice of plans. As it turns out, over 80 percent of the people who selected plans could choose from three or more, and almost all – 96 percent – could choose from at least two.
On top of that, a recent study found that letting young people stay on their parents' insurance longer has made them healthier. That's in addition to the $50 this group is now saving in out of pocket costs each year.
The more we learn about the impact of the ACA, the less wind there is in its opponents sails.