What Is the Coverage Gap? New Resources Make It Easy to Understand (And Talk About)
Coverage Gap Tools
The Center for Public Policy Priorities released a new interactive tool and report last week that shows the benefits of expanding health coverage in Texas. The interactive tool, "Health and Wealth County Checkup," shows the number of people in each county in Texas who could gain coverage and how each county will benefit economically and in job creation if our state closes the Coverage Gap. For example, in Harris county over 60,000 jobs would be created and 383,000 residents could be covered.
Check out how your county would benefit if state leadership decided to accept federal funds and insure one million Texans.
Texas Well and Healthy created a printable one-pager that includes eight reasons why Texas should accept federal funds to provide coverage to one million Texans who are uninsured.
Read and download the Coverage Gap one-pager.
Coverage Gap in the Media
Recently, there have been a lot of stories in the news reinforcing why Texas needs to close the Coverage Gap.
- Terry Jordan (right), a Houston small business owner who falls into the Coverage Gap, was recently highlighted in a Houston Public Media piece. His income is too low to qualify for reduced-price coverage in the federal Marketplace, leaving him with no affordable insurance options. “The poor working class is really getting left behind. Way behind,” Jordan said.
- The Dallas Morning News reports that hospitals are saving money and seeing fewer ER visits by the uninsured in states that have accepted Medicaid funding to expand coverage.
- Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who has been described as “a tea party Republican before there was a tea party,” recently announced a proposal to accept federal health care funds to close the Coverage Gap for uninsured low-wage workers. If Indiana can figure out a conservative way to close the Gap, then certainly Texas can too.
Veterans Left in the Coverage Gap
The news of veterans missing out on needed health care at the VA has shocked and upset Americans across the country. But did you know that in Texas 66,000 uninsured veterans and their spouses would gain coverage if the state accepted Medicaid funding? Some of these vets have mental or physical conditions that prevent them from working enough to afford coverage or qualify for assistance in the new Marketplace. Others are going to college to prepare for a new career, making it difficult to work full-time. And others work full-time, have a spouse at home with two kids, but earn less than $24,000 per year, leaving them under the poverty line and therefore ineligible for affordable insurance in the Marketplace.