What do Obamacare rate hikes mean for Texans?

The rate hikes leave a lot of Texans wondering how this could affect people in our state. It turns out not many Texans will be shelling out extra for healthcare.

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, rates will go up between 20 and 25 percent next year. So, who is really going to feel this increase?

“If you have insurance through your employer this doesn't touch you at all,” said Elizabeth Colvin, Central Texas Program Director, Foundation Communities.

That's many Americans. According to most recent numbers from the urban institute, more than 60 percent of Americans get health insurance through employers.  Vanessa Fierro is one of those about to change over to workplace insurance.

"I am so relieved. This entire experience has been a headache to be honest with you," she said.

Others get Medicaid and Medicare and then private insurance. That leaves uninsured who could use Obamacare.

“For lower income families if the premiums go up, the financial assistance will also go up,” said Colvin.

The financial help is also known as subsidies.  In Texas, this rate hike will touch about one million people,  but 85 percent of them will get higher subsidies to help pay premiums.

“This affects people who earn above 250 percent above the federal poverty level, so people who are not eligible for financial assistance,” said Colvin.

Lower income families are shielded from rate increases. This is especially good news for many who were alarmed. For those who will feel the brunt of the hikes.

“It's really important for everybody to shop around because there's been a lot of movement and changes in the marketplace,” said Colvin.

Open enrollment begins November 1 and goes into effect January 1, 2017.

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