In the United States, employee health insurance is an important factor for someone looking for a job. With the Affordable Care Act in place, employees who do not have health insurance will have to pay penalties, and this also applies to employers who do not offer coverage for all of their employees. Because of this there has been a huge boost in coverage throughout the country, but the one state that is leading the way is Texas. In a recent study done by the Baker Institute for Public Policy, it has been shown that employee health insurance in Texas has increased exponentially.
In 2013, 67 percent of employees got health coverage in Texas, while now that the Affordable Care Act has passed, 68 percent have access to insurance through their employers. This is a surprise to Texans, since the fear when the ACA passed was that employers would drop health insurance completely, but instead, they have adjusted to the change and made it available for all of their employees. This affects a large majority of people, including low income employees who would not otherwise have access to health insurance in Texas.
It is easy to see the big change the Affordable Care Act has provided for these low income employees. In 2013, only 35.9 percent of them were covered, while now in 2015, up to 40.3 percent have health insurance. This is an increase of 12 percent in just two years! Although not all employers are offering health coverage, the number is growing quickly.
So why is employee health insurance in Texas becoming the choice for all companies? Employers do not want to pay fees because they do not provide affordable health coverage, which is why they lower their rates and increase the amount of people their health insurance covers. By making it more affordable, low income employees are able to obtain the insurance they need while also avoiding the penalty fees they also would accrue for not getting coverage. It is a win-win scenario for both parties and can end up saving the employer quite a bit of money in the long run.
There is still work to be done, however. Not all low income employees receive health coverage in Texas, with the cost being the largest deterrent. Of all uninsured workers in the state, 55 percent of them say it is because they cannot afford to purchase insurance, not even through the Affordable Care Act. For other income brackets, the change has not been as widely noticeable, with the percentage of higher income workers who have health insurance in Texas remaining at 85 percent from 2013 until now.
Making health insurance in Texas affordable for employees is beneficial not only to the employee but to the employer, as well. A company that provides this kind of coverage attracts better workers and ensures that these workers remain with them for longer periods of time. Productivity increases when employees have health insurance, which can offer a boost to the company without requiring more employees.
Health insurance in Texas is is expected to continue to expand to cover more people throughout all of the income bracket.