There are only two weeks left to buy health insurance from the individual marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. So far, fewer Texans are signing up this year.
Compared to this time last year, enrollment in the Obamacare marketplace is down about seven percent in Texas, according to federal officials. However, the nationwide drop is even bigger – about 13 percent.
Melissa McChesney with the Center for Public Policy Priorities says this is the result of several Trump administration decisions, including cuts to funding for outreach and assistance for people trying to buy a plan.
“So you know we’ve seen these deliberate attempts to sort of undermine enrollment and so it is very concerning. I will say that at the end of last year, we were expecting a bigger drop than we saw,” McChesney says.
Last year, there was an eight percent drop in enrollment in Texas compared to the year before. Even with Trump administration cuts, McChesney says there are important parts of the law still standing. For example, subsidies to help offset the cost of Obamacare plans still make healthcare more affordable for a lot of people in Texas. The last day to sign up for a plan through healthcare.gov is December 15.