Every Texan is taking no position on HB 2176, but is providing the attached context. The bill would extend temporary authority for the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) to take initial steps to establish a “high risk pool” like old one Texas had before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), if the Supreme Court strikes down the ACA. The bill doesn’t actually authorize or fund high risk pool coverage. Returning to a high-risk pool like the old one Texas had would be an inadequate way to protect Texans with preexisting conditions if the ACA is overturned. It covered only 28,000 Texans at its peak. It charged much more to people with preexisting conditions and had a waiting period before coverage of preexisting conditions kicked in for some enrollees. Our comments include a comparison of Texas’ pre-ACA high-risk pool to the ACA protections for people with preexisting conditions for more information. The bill would also extend temporary authority for TDI to study options that could be beneficial to consumers who buy coverage on their own when it is not offered by their employer.
Read our full testimony here.