HHS: Texans will see lower health premiums

Affordable Care Act to offer 54 plans in Texas

Starting Oct. 1, Texas families will have a wide variety of health plans from which to choose.
Starting Oct. 1, Texas families will have a wide variety of health plans from which to choose.

SAN ANTONIO – A report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shows Texas consumers will see lower than expected monthly premiums in its new health insurance marketplace starting Oct. 1.

In a statement, HHS Secretary Katherine Sebelius said, "Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, consumers will be able to choose from a number of new coverage options at a price that is affordable."

According to the report, Texas will offer 54 plans with prices that vary with the level of coverage: gold, silver or bronze.

"Some of the plans do offer hospitalization, pharmacy and a lot of added benefits, so it really depends on your needs," said Marisol Cortez, chief development officer for CommuniCare Health Centers.

The government report shows as an example, if a 27-year-old earning $25,000 is eligible for tax credits, the lowest cost bronze plan will be $83 or up to $145 for the second lowest silver plan. And, a family of four with a yearly income of $50,000 will pay $57 to $282.

Cortez said she understands that tax credits are based on a person's income history.

However, the report also shows if that family of four has a yearly income of $94,500, they would be ineligible for tax credits and pay $727 in monthly premiums.

She said to find out if people qualify for the Affordable Care coverage, they can go to the government's website.

Cortez also said CommuniCare will have outreach and enrollment specialists at each of their clinics, as well as other venues such as health fairs.

"If they don't qualify for the health exchange, then we offer services for the uninsured on a sliding fee scale," Cortez said.

KSAT 12 also has a page dedicated to explaining the Affordable Care Act and how it will affect you directly. It can be found at ksat.com/healthcare

For a list of recent stories Jessie Degollado has done, click here.

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