Letter to Texas Legislators on Enrollment

The ACA and You

With the Senate State Affairs holding a hearing on the ACA today, 19 organizations sent the following letter to all Texas state legislators urging them to inform their constituents about their health insurance options under the ACA.

Open enrollment for the Marketplace starts two months from today, running from November 15 to February 15.

The full text of the letter is below. You can download the pdf here.

September 15, 2014

State Representatives and Senators

Texas Legislature

Austin, Texas

Dear Representatives and Senators,

As the Senate State Affairs Committee meets today to discuss the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we encourage you to inform your constituents about their available options to obtain health insurance, particularly when the open enrollment period for 2015 coverage in the Marketplace starts just two months from today.

Although Texas state government has not been a partner in promoting the new health insurance options, many Texas families have benefited from the Marketplace and other aspects of the ACA. During the first open enrollment period, which ended in April of this year, 734,000 Texans signed up for coverage through the federal health care marketplace. Eighty-four percent of those Texans received financial assistance to make their insurance policies more affordable.

More Texans will enjoy the health protections and financial stability of insurance if Texas leaders commit to public outreach regarding these new health coverage options. Key points to share with your constituents include the following:

– The next open enrollment period for the Marketplace will run from November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015.

– Texans can obtain insurance through the Marketplace outside of the open enrollment period if they change jobs, have a baby, get married, or experience another event that qualifies for a Special Enrollment Period.

– Eligible children and pregnant women can sign up for insurance through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Medicaid at any time.

– Most Texans who purchase coverage through the Marketplace will qualify for financial assistance to make their insurance more affordable.

– Texans can access the Marketplace by visiting healthcare.gov or calling 1-800-318-2596.

– In-person assistance with enrollment is available in all major metro areas, and in many smaller cities and rural communities as well. Additional information is available to constituents through getcoveredamerica.org.

– Texas workers who do not receive insurance from their employers and have an annual income below $24,000 for a family of four still do not have any affordable insurance options. They are not eligible for premium subsidies through the Marketplace and the legislature has not developed a Texas plan to accept federal Medicaid funding for low-wage adults. These workers should contact their local clinics and county indigent programs to find out if they qualify for services.

We appreciate your consideration and any steps you can take to inform your constituents about their health insurance options.

Sincerely,

Simone Nichols-Segers

Government Activism Coordinator

National MS Society

 

Eileen Garcia

Chief Executive Officer

​Texans Care for Children

 

Blake Hutson

Senior Associate, Health Reform

Consumers Union

 

Laura Guerra-Cardus, M.D.

Associate Director

Children’s Defense Fund-Texas

 

Bee Moorhead

Executive Director

Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy/Texas Impact

 

Sara E. Smith, JD

State Director

Texas Public Interest Research Group

 

José Eduardo Sánchez

Acting Southern Director

Young Invincibles

 

Tod Marvin

President & CEO

Easter Seals Central Texas

 

Anne Dunkelberg

Associate Director

Center for Public Policy Priorities

 

Lucy Ramirez

Chief Executive Officer

Nuestra Clinica del Valle, Inc.

 

Sonia Troche, MBA

Texas Regional Director

National Council of La Raza
Miriam Nisenbaum

Executive Director

National Association of Social Workers – Texas Chapter

 

Ana R. DeFrates

Director, Texas Latina Advocacy Network (LAN) Policy & Advocacy

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health


Phillip Martin

Deputy Director

Texas Research Institute

 

Ann Williams Cass

Executive Director

Proyecto Azteca

 

Liz James

Chief Executive Officer

Lesbian Health Initiative of Houston, Inc. (LHI)

 

Phylis Peters

Director

Proyecto Juan Diego

 

Ginny Goldman

Executive Director

Texas Organizing Project

 

Katy Caldwell

Executive Director

Legacy Community Health Services

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