Record number of Texans signed up for 2022 Affordable Care Act plans
A record number of Texans signed up for 2022 health coverage through healthcare.gov, the online marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act.
According to the latest data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, more than 1.8 million Texans bought health insurance through the ACA, also known as Obamacare.
That surpasses the state’s previous 2016 record, when 1.3 million people in Texas signed up for ACA health insurance plans.
Brian Sasser, the chief communications officer for the Episcopal Health Foundation in Houston, said this new signup boom occurred during the open enrollment period that ran from Nov. 1, 2021 to Jan. 15, 2022.
“It's a pretty big jump,” Sasser said, noting that 1.8 million was 42 % higher than the year before. “So, roughly almost more than 548,000 additional Texans signed up this year than last year.”
For people who signed up by Dec. 15, health coverage started on Jan. 1. For those who enrolled by Jan. 15, their coverage starts Feb. 1.
Sasser said a number of factors contributed to this increase in enrollment, including more publicity and community outreach, along with Congress increasing the amount of financial assistance available.
“The cost of premiums went down 23% nationwide. We think that will be similar for Texas. And that's kind of an example why we think more people signed up,” said Sasser. “I think this is good news, showing that when health insurance is affordable, people will sign up. And when there are more options and more ways to get it, they'll do it.”
The latest federal data show Texas currently ranks second in the nation for ACA signups, behind Florida.
However, Texas still has the highest number and percentage of uninsured people in the U.S.
“The problem of being uninsured in Texas doesn’t go away with this record number,” Sasser said. “This puts a little dent in it, but it’s still there.”