Featured Story: Cover Texas Now! Statewide Gathering

The Cover Texas Now coalition is hosting a statewide gathering of Texans working on outreach, enrollment, application assistance, closing the Coverage Gap (Medicaid expansion), and Medicaid-CHIP enrollment support the morning of October 14, from 8-12:30.  There will be NO CHARGE for the CTN meeting, and participants are invited to stay (at no charge) for a “deeper dive” session on ACA enrollment and the Coverage Gap at 2:45 that afternoon as part of CPPP’s summit.

Click here for more information, and register here!

 

Sign on to the Cover Texas Now 2015 Legislative Agenda

We invite you to support our advocacy by signing on to our 2015 Legislative Agenda. We look forward to building our membership among more groups sharing our commitment to covering more Texans, from Medicaid-CHIP to the Marketplace.

For this legislative session, we are offering 2 options for organizations to sign on to the Cover Texas Now legislative agenda:
1.    sign on to the Cover Texas Now legislative agenda, and be listed as a Cover Texas Now member;
2.    or, simply sign on to the Cover Texas Now legislative agenda. Any organization that supports this year’s legislative agenda is welcome to sign on, not just Cover Texas Now members. You do not need to be a coalition member to support the coalition principles. This is a change from the process in previous years.

You can see the most recent list of CTN members and the shared principles online.

Texas Should Accept Federal Health Care Funds to Close the Coverage Gap

Click here for a printable one pager on the Coverage Gap. Texas Left Me Out

Uninsured low-income workers can now buy reduced-price coverage in the health care Marketplace if their income is above the poverty line. But for uninsured workers earning less than $12,000 per year or $24,000 for a family of four, affordable insurance is only available if Texas accepts federal health care funds. Because Texas has not accepted the funds yet, a million Texans are in the Coverage Gap. As a result, Texans pay taxes twice for health care for these low-wage workers. We pay federal taxes, but these benefits only go to states that accept them. So we also pay high property taxes for local health programs and hospitals.

Texas Left Me Out: Letter To Legislators

Today more than 40 Texas health care advocacy organizations, faith and community groups launched Texas Left Me Out, a campaign in English and Spanish to collect stories from uninsured Texans left in the coverage gap and connect them with available health care options and advocacy efforts.

While thousands of Texans living above the poverty line are successfully purchasing health plans on the Marketplace and getting help to pay for them, more than one million of Texas’ poorest adults are still being left out due to Texas’ choice to refuse billions of federal dollars to extend coverage to them. 

Download the PDF. (Right-click and choose "Save Link As...")


Cover Texas Now members provide testimony on flawed Navigator rule proposal

The Texas Department of Insurance recently held two hearings on proposed rules to regulate navigators in Texas (read more about the proposed rules in the post below).  Navigators under Affordable Care Act are community organizations, such as the United Way, that receive federal funding to help uninsured individuals learn about and enroll in health coverage through Health Insurance Marketplace.  Health insurance policies and choices can be confusing, especially for people who are not familiar with health insurance.  Navigators provide in-person assistance through the process.

Members of the Cover Texas Now coalition provided testimony at the hearings:

State’s Navigator Rule Could Impede Health Insurance Enrollment

By Stacey Pogue, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Public Policy Priorities

December 16, 2013

Stacey PogueLast week, the Texas Department of Insurance released proposed rules on “navigators”—community organizations like the United Way that help uninsured people apply for health insurance.  As proposed, the rules could prevent or delay the important work of navigators.  Fort Worth Star Telegram editors agree, noting that the rules will impede insurance enrollment and hinder progress on reducing Texas’ worst-in-the nation uninsured rate.

Countdown to Coverage: Have Questions About Fees?

BLOG_DefaultStarting October 1, 2013 many Americans will have the opportunity to enroll in new affordable coverage options through the Health Insurance Marketplace.  With these new coverage opportunities, however, comes a new requirement that most individuals have health insurance in 2014, or pay a fee to go uninsured.  The prospect of paying a fee (or “penalty,” as it is also called) may sound intimidating, but we’re here with the good news that most people who have coverage today already meet this new requirement, and that not everyone will be subject to the fees in 2014 and beyond.  Learn more below!

What if I Already Have Insurance?  Will I Owe a Fee?

Countdown to Coverage: Choosing A Health Plan

Katharine LigonSelecting a health care plan for you or your family can be intimidating, especially if this is your first time and/or you have a chronic condition such as mental illness.  As we have shared with you in our blog series, Countdown to Coverage, there is a lot to understand before you select a plan and for people who suffer from mental illness and substance use disorders, there are important things to consider when selecting a plan in the Marketplace.

Countdown to Coverage: ACA and Mental Health Benefits

Katharine LigonAccess to behavioral health care is not just a matter of having health insurance; it also requires an adequate scope of covered benefits in a health plan.  For many years, benefits for Mental Health and Substance Use (MH/SU) services were not included in many health plans.  In addition, when an employer did chose to offer mental health care coverage as a part of the employer-sponsored plan, MH/SU conditions were typically capped at a much lower level of coverage than that for physical conditions.  

Countdown to Coverage: Young Adults and the Marketplace

BLOG_DefaultYoung adults from ages 19 to 29 are one key group that stands to benefit from the launch of the new Health Insurance Marketplace on October 1.

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