Join The Discussion

 

Ex Rangers manager Washington apologizes for 'breaking wife's trust'

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Former Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington says he is embarrassed for 'breaking his wife's trust.'

read more >

New arena at Will Rogers takes shape


The proposed Will Rogers Memorial Center arena continues to take shape as voters head for a Nov. 4 election to decide whether to approve new taxes to help pay for the $450 million facility.

read more >

Overland Sheepskin opening Sundance Square store in Fort Worth

The store is expected to open by the holidays, Sundance said.

read more >

Home health firm relocates to Ridglea from downtown

Southwest Home Health Services has leased new headquarters space in the Ridglea East Building in West Fort Worth, setting a plan in motion to relocate Oct. 1 from the downtown.

read more >

Texas Health Southwest breaks ground on $40M expansion

A $40 million expansion of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth is under way, with groundbreaking ceremonies held this week.

read more >

Obamacare enrollments in Texas lag as deadline nears

 


HOUSTON (AP) – Fewer than 90,000 Texans bought health insurance through the new federally subsidized marketplace in the past month, leaving navigators, assisters and other officials working to enroll people with a hefty task as they near the March 31 deadline for open enrollment.

Up until mid-March, some 295,025 Texans had purchased health insurance through President Barack Obama's signature overhaul program, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. That means just more than 87,400 residents bought coverage since mid-February.

Texas has the highest rate of uninsured in the nation, nearly one in four. Republican Gov. Rick Perry has vocally and vociferously opposed the program referred to by critics as “Obamacare.”

The department says more than 758,300 Texans are eligible to purchase insurance through the marketplace, and of those more than 414,200 could receive federal financial assistance to help cover the cost

Perry also has refused to expand Medicaid, despite federal dollars offered to do so. This will leave tens of thousands of Texans ineligible for financial assistance to buy a plan on the marketplace and above the income level required to receive Medicaid – meaning they will remain uninsured.

Florida is in a similar situation but has done better with enrollment.

Ben Hernandez, Houston's deputy assistant health director, said he believes part of Texas' problem is that the federal agencies chose not to advertise the program in the state once Perry decided not to expand Medicaid. So while city workers and others collaborating with them to educate and enroll people have contacted some 400,000 people, that is barely one-tenth of the population.

Houston recently spent about $40,000 to buy radio ad time and started taking out ads in fitness centers but officials have found it difficult to saturate the market with local dollars alone, Hernandez said.

"We have encountered people who don't know enough even in these late stages," Hernandez said. "Part of that is getting the message out."

Texas also has a large geographic area to cover and some navigators, especially in rural areas of the state, often have to drive hundreds of miles a week to help people enroll.

Of the nearly 300,000 Texans who have enrolled, 57 percent are women and 82 percent have received financial assistance. About 65 percent have selected the mid-level silver plan that offers a higher monthly premium and lower deductibles.

 

< back

Email   email
hide
Arena
What do you think of the new plans for a new Will Rogers arena and changes at the Convention Center?