Texas Obamacare Plans Cost More in Big Cities Than in Rural Areas

Nov 11, 2014
Originally published on November 11, 2014 10:46 am

Open enrollment for health insurance on the federal marketplace begins on Saturday. A new report suggests that if they buy a plan through the marketplace, Texas residents in big cities will pay slightly more than those in more rural areas.

The report by the Episcopal Health Foundation and Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy looks at silver-level plans across all of Texas. The silver level is the second most expensive and the most popular in the state.

"We thought that the more competitive markets with more insurers would have lower premiums but it turns out they have slightly higher monthly premiums than markets with fewer insurers," says Dr. Vivian Ho, one of the researchers and the chair in health economics at Rice’s Baker Institute.

Ho says that might be because insurers expect people in cities to be less healthy. The researchers also found significant variation in the number of hospitals included across plans.

For coverage in 2015, more insurers and more plans will be available on healthcare.gov, but this year’s enrollment period is much smaller than last year. It runs from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15.

Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents in the U.S.

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