More Texans Opting Out of Health Insurance: Some Numbers
The health insurance crisis is hitting every nook and cranny of the United States from Indiana to California and now Texas. Health insurance premiums are skyrocketing causing many middle-income Texans to simply forgo health insurance coverage at all.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota found that from 2000 to 2008 the number of uninsured middle-income Texans increased by 40 percent. Researchers define middle-income as families that earn between $48,000 and $85,000 annually.
Currently. 10.8 million Texans receive health insurance from their employers. Over half of these people earn more than $88,000 a year. However, 15 percent of employers in the private sector do not offer health insurance. Furthermore, a 5.5 percent drop in employer-sponsored insurance has also occurred.
The situation has made for an interesting trend: more middle-income households are simply dropping health insurance coverage altogether. According to Devon Herrick of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis . “They just do see a good value in [health insurance]”. It’s a common trend across the nation. Consider that forty percent of households in the nation go without insurance and earn more than $50,000 annually.
Health Insurance Reform May Become a Reality
Texans and Americans nationwide may benefit from a healthcare overhaul despite the costs. The push for health insurance reform by the Obama Administration has been an uphill battle. However, a determined Obama will most likely get his way. Should the legislation pass, Americans can look for radical changes in the health insurance industry – changes that providers are less than happy to accommodate.
For example, under the Obama plan, discrimination because of a pre-existing medical condition would be banned as would dropping a customer because his or her health bills are too much. The plan would also end lifetime caps on coverage and reduce out-of-pocket expenses making health insurance more affordable for everyone.
Democrats are expected to vote on health insurance reform in the near future. President Obama, meanwhile has been traveling the country to provide one less sell before he leaves the country for Indonesia. Democrats must win by a simple majority for the bill to pass.