AUSTIN (KXAN) — The defeat of the Skinny Repeal was welcomed news to some local non-profits who help those find health insurance on the marketplace. Elizabeth Colvin, the Director of Insure Central Texas at Foundation Communities spends a good portion of her day answering questions from those concerned about their insurance.
“I get texts from people saying can I go to the oncologist next week? Do I still have insurance? People who need transplants are wondering ‘am I going to be able to get my transplant’. For people who are really sick and depending on this insurance to live this is way more stress than they need.”
Colvin was concerned if the Skinny Repeal passed premiums would have skyrocketed since it would have eliminated both the individual and employee mandate. Thursday night the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office issued a report showing 15 million people would become uninsured under the current bill.
“The problem is it takes healthy people out of the risk pool so that’s what drives premiums up because people who know they need insurance who are sick and don’t want to take the risk of not being insured are going to continue to have insurance. But the healthy people who we call “the young invincibles” may take the risk of being uninsured. And those are healthy people going out of the risk pool. And insurance work when everyone purchases it, buys into it both healthy and sick and that’s what balances out the premiums,” says Colvin.
With the next enrollment period coming up Nov. 1st – Dec. 15th, a new insurer will join the current three insurance companies that offer 30 different healthcare plans for Central Texans. Colvin says the story of Central Texas’ marketplace is contrary to what some lawmakers are saying.
“The marketplace is actually planning to grow here, “ says Colvin. “That’s what you haven’t heard, things are actually working well and our marketplace is actually expanding here.”