SummaryWith a population of more than 26 million people, Texas is important to achieving the Obama administration's desired exchange enrollment.
Avalere Health estimates that Texas alone could bring in more than 800,000 in 2014, more than 9 percent of the estimated total national enrollment. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2011, Texas had the nation’s highest uninsurance rate at 24 percent, 8 percent higher than the national average. CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said today at a congressional hearing that about 800,000 people are expected to enroll by the end of the month.
“Given delays in launching the federal website, the Administration may focus year-end outreach efforts on large states like Texas. These states have significant numbers of uninsured individuals who can help bolster national enrollment statistics,” said Caroline Pearson, vice president at Avalere Health.
The online marketplaces for the state health insurance exchanges opened Oct. 1, but multiple reports indicate there are glitches with the systems across the country. While the Obama Administration says that healthcare.gov will be fully functional and glitch-free by the end of November, it leaves little time for those to enroll and receive coverage by Jan. 1, 2014. Open enrollment ends at the end of March and CMS could opt to extend the deadline; however, that will depend on the rollout of the “new” website and the enrollment numbers that are due out later this month.