Texas Well and Healthy

Thousands of Texas Veterans Would Benefit from Medicaid Expansion

Over 66,000 uninsured Texas veterans and their spouses could gain health care coverage if the state moves forward with Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

In Texas, over 200,000 veterans and their spouses are uninsured – the highest of any state in the nation.

Under the ACA, states have the opportunity to extend Medicaid coverage to U.S. citizen adults with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty income level (FPL), roughly $32,000 annually for a family of four.  In Texas, this expansion would extend Medicaid coverage to many low-income parents, caretakers, and childless adults who do not currently qualify—including a substantial number of veterans and their spouses.

According to a new report published by the Urban Institute, an estimated 48,900 uninsured Texas veterans (38% of all uninsured Texas vets) will be eligible for Medicaid coverage if Texas chooses to participate in the expansion.

Moreover, three-quarters of these veterans—over 36,000—have incomes below 100% of FPL and would not be eligible for subsidies in the exchange.  The same is true for the 11,500 uninsured spouses of veterans whose incomes also fall below 100% of FPL.

These groups will only qualify for new coverage options under the ACA if Texas chooses to expand Medicaid.uninsured-veterans

Implementation of Medicaid expansion in Texas will be critical to ensuring that our lowest-income veterans and their spouses have access to affordable health care.

In total, Medicaid expansion would extend eligibility to approximately one third of all uninsured Texas veterans and spouses, over 66,000 people.

Nineteen bills supporting Medicaid expansion for low-income adults have been filed during the 2013 legislative session, and budget directions for expansion are included in both the House and Senate appropriations bills.

Texas needs to move forward with Medicaid expansion this session in order to improve the health and well-being of those men and women – and their family members – who have put their own health and lives at risk serving in the armed forces.

All calculations are derived from data provided by the Urban Institute.

For more information, please see:

Written by: Megan Randall, Center for Public Policy Priorities

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