Lindsay Wilcox, NBC 5 News
A new report released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services shows premium for Texans will be lower than expected under the Affordable Care Act that starts Oct. 1.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Texas insurance premiums will be lower under the federal Affordable Care Act than previously thought.
On Wednesday, the Obama administration unveiled premiums and plan choices for 36 states, including Texas, where the federal government is taking the lead to cover uninsured residents. According to the report, a family of four in Dallas-Fort Worth will be able to get the minimum required insurance coverage for $26 per month after federal tax credits.
Better coverage will obviously cost more.
The report also says that Texans will have more than 40 insurance providers from which to choose.
Jo Trizila said she is most anticipating the pre-existing conditions requirement.
The lifelong Republican had a transplant at age 13. Until three years ago, she worked in a big corporation and always had insurance coverage. But when she branched out to start her own public relations firm, she discovered she couldn't get coverage.
"When I went to go get private insurance, and I had to fill out all the forms the documentations, I kept getting denied, denied, denied, denied," she said.
When she finally found a company to cover her, the premiums were manageable but the coverage was terrible, Trizila said.
"When I had my hysterectomy two years ago, I paid nearly $25,000 out-of-pocket," she said.
On Wednesday, she used a health care cost estimator through the Healthcare.gov website to see the premiums she can be expected to pay.
While actual plans and costs won't be available until open enrollment begins Oct. 1, the calculator shows that Trizila could save about $2,000 per year and have a maximum out-of-pocket expense of about $12,000.
"All I can say is, I wish I had my hysterectomy under this plan, because we'd have a lot more cash in our pockets," she said.
The overview of premiums and plan choices comes as the White House swings into full campaign mode to promote the benefits of the Affordable Care Act to a skeptical public. Congressional Republicans, meanwhile, refuse to abandon their quest to derail "Obamacare" and flirt with a government shutdown to force the issue.
Starting Jan. 1, virtually all Americans will be required to carry health insurance or face fines. At the same time, the health care law will prohibit insurance companies from turning away people in poor health, or charging them more.
For more information on the Affordable Care Act and its affect on your, visit Healthcare.gov.