Deadline looms for marketplace health insurance open enrollment

Texas Politics

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Tuesday is the deadline for open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act marketplace health plans.

The State Comptroller’s office indicated there were 18.4% of Texans without any kind of health insurance in 2019, which is twice the national average of 9.2%.

Although the U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide the future of the Affordable Care Act, known as the ACA or Obamacare, some community groups in the Lone Star State are encouraging people to get coverage regardless.

“We want to make sure as many people as possible have that security, have that peace of mind, have health insurance, because it is so important for individuals, for their families to not have those unexpected medical expenses really harm them,” Aaron DeLaO, health initiatives director for social services non-profit Foundation Communities, said.

The Foundation Communities team believed anyone who signs up for one of the 71 available insurance plans this year will remain covered through 2021 regardless of what happens to the Affordable Care Act.

Austin musician Lesly Reynaga signed up for health insurance through the open marketplace.

“I was born and raised in Mexico, and I was very fortunate to have full coverage back home,” she said. “But when I moved to Texas, I was actually uninsured for quite a few years.”

“Preventative care has been a must for me,” she stated. “I continue to do my annual physicals, and I just, you know, feel very fortunate that I get to have that peace of mind that every year I get that screening done.”

Citing federal data, DeLaO said the average daily enrollment is up more than 20% statewide during this pandemic year, compared to last year.

Insurance markets vary by region, so different groups can help based on where you live. The federal sign up website is HealthCare.Gov.

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