Texas’ Individual Insurance Market is More Competitive Than Ever
January 28, 2022
By: Alicia Pierce, Jamie Dudensing
A record number of Americans signed up for health care coverage through Affordable Care Act marketplaces at the same time a number of new plans joined the market. About 14.5 millions Americans signed up for an ACA plan during the enrollment period that ended January 15. That’s 2 million more than ever before.
Texas already saw record-breaking enrollment early this year, and it is likely that trend will continue, staying consistent with or exceeding national enrollment growth.
Texans enrolling this year had more options to find a plan that meets their needs. Four new health insurance providers entered the Texas market this year, bringing the total number of providers to 14.
Additionally, many plans expanded to new counties, giving more options to Texans across the state and increasing county-level coverage options by 13%. This builds on a market that was already relatively competitive, ranking seventh in the nation as of 2019. Even prior to the addition of new plans in 2022, 86% of Texans had a choice of three or more plans and only 3% of Texans lived in an area with only one option.
Increased competition helps Texans find plans that best match their needs, but it also helps guarantee long-term affordability as prices are held in check. While the market saw significant instability in its early years, premiums stabilized around $430 a month for the past 4 years (lower than the national average). More subsidies from coronavirus relief efforts push that number even lower. Nationally, 90% of enrollees saw reduced premiums while existing consumers saved an average of $67 per month.
Regardless of which plan Texans select, their essential benefits and pre-existing conditions are covered, and they will have no out-of-pocket costs for preventative care. For Texans looking for individual coverage, this may have been the best enrollment yet.