Tuesday, February 7, 2023 Feb 7, 2023
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Local News

Fewer Than 3,000 Texans Have Signed Up For Health Care Through Healthcare.gov

By Jason Heid |

D Healthcare Daily talks the latest numbers released today:

In Texas, less than 3,000 individuals have enrolled, the second-most of any state using healthcare.gov, behind Florida. The total enrollment, including the 15 state-run marketplaces, is 106,185. Of those, 79,391 came from state websites, and 26,794 came from HealthCare.gov, which serves the others. Federal officials hoped to have at least 500,000 enrollees within the first month.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Marketwatch site notes a reasonable explanation for the slow start: the human propensity for procrastination.

The type of person who enrolls in next year’s insurance plan six weeks in advance is also the type of person who files their tax return in January. About 22% of people make insurance decisions in the last two days of open enrollment periods, health officials said during a media call Wednesday. Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, also attributed some of the delay to the idea that consumers often take their time making health insurance decisions. “Insurance is very different than buying a toaster,” Sebelius said during the call. “As more people shop and talk things over with their families we expect these numbers to rise.”

Even people who signed up for insurance on Oct.1—to the extent that they were able to given technical setbacks on HealthCare.gov and some of the state-run exchanges—won’t be covered until Jan. 1, and won’t have a premium payment until roughly Dec. 15. It wouldn’t be surprising, financial experts say, if many people were waiting to get closer to that moment of gratification to take action. “People are often reactive rather than proactive,” says Taylor Gang, a principal at Evensky & Katz, a wealth management firm based in Coral Gables, Fla.

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