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In 2014, the LAW requires everyone to have Health Insurance or pay a penalty.

Obamacare subsidies are for the needy and unemployed.                                                                  
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Perry blasts ObamaCare as Sebelius visits Texas to promote the law
Published August 20, 2013

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is criticizing the Obama administration after it announced a new video contest meant to promote ObamaCare among young people during Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius’ visit to his state.

The “Health Young America” contest, for which the administration is partnering with non-profit Young Invincibles, encourages young people to create videos explaining their experiences with health insurance. Users can submit their own videos and vote on their favorites.  The creators of the videos that receive the most votes in three different categories will receive cash prizes, according to the contest’s website. Sebelius announced the contest while on a visit to Houston to promote the new law before it goes into effect in October, a push slammed by Perry.  "If ObamaCare were sound health care policy, Secretary Sebelius wouldn't have to resort to video contests and prizes to tempt people to sign up,” Perry said in a statement. “Texans are already subject to too much costly and burdensome federal regulation, and ObamaCare only makes the problem worse." The new video contest is the latest in a string of promotional efforts by HHS before the ObamaCare rollout. Officials have recruited bloggers and private groups to promote and publicize the new law, although their attempt to engage in a similar relationship with the NFL and the NBA was rejected by the leagues.

The federal government has a $41 million contract with public relations firm Weber Shandwick for a national campaign to push ObamaCare through different channels. Separately, federal grants are fueling a $684 million outreach effort through the states.

The Affordable Care Act, commonly called ObamaCare, was passed in 2010, but many of its major provisions have not yet taken effect.

On Oct. 1, new health plans will be offered through a government-run marketplace or health care "exchange."


Read more:
 http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/19/perry-blasts-obamacare-as-sebelius-visits-texas-to-promote-law/#ixzz2ciUnEHXr


Texas Legislature Passes Measure To Prevent Medicaid Expansion

By Corrie MacLaggan

AUSTIN, Texas, May 26 (Reuters) - The Republican-majority Texas House and Senate on Sunday sent Governor Rick Perry a proposal to prevent the state from expanding its Medicaid program as outlined by President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law.

Perry, a Republican, notified the Obama administration last summer his state would not expand Medicaid, which provides healthcare for low-income people. He repeated his opposition in an April news conference at which he called expansion "foolish."

The proposal, an amendment to a Medicaid-related bill, says state health officials "may only provide medical assistance to a person who would have been otherwise eligible for medical assistance or for whom federal matching funds were available under the eligibility criteria for medical assistance in effect on December 31, 2013."

The House had tacked on the amendment after the Senate had passed a version of the bill without the amendment. Members of both chambers met to work out differences in the legislation.  That House-Senate conference committee chose to keep the amendment, although its members tweaked the language to prevent unintended consequences, said the bill's author, Republican Senator Jane Nelson. "This prevents the expansion of Medicaid," she said in a statement.

Republican Representative Jeff Leach, the author of the amendment, has said Medicaid expansion is too big of a decision to be made without lawmakers' input. Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Obama's healthcare overhaul but allowed states to opt out of a provision expanding the Medicaid program.  Since then, 26 governors have indicated support for Medicaid expansion, according to the Advisory Board Company, a consulting firm that is tracking the issue.  Democrats have called on Perry to drop his opposition to expanding Medicaid in the state, which has the nation's highest percentage of uninsured people. About 24 percent of Texans are uninsured.

The biennial legislative session is set to end on Monday.

CURRENT LAWS

Group Health Insurance in Texas
  • Coverage may not be denied to qualified persons due to health problems. Neither may they be charged more.
  • New employer may withhold coverage for a period of time.
  • Special opportunities may be available during life changes dealing with marriage or job loss.
  • Small business employer are required to include family members under health coverage.
  • Newborn, adopted, grand, and disabled children are offered special consideration for health coverage.
  • Except for HMOs, group providers may review medical history for the six months immediately prior to new coverage.
  • Providers may require an exclusion period for up to 12 months.
  • HMOs may not impose exclusion periods but may require an affiliation, or waiting, period.
  • Creditable coverage for a pre-existing condition is available when previous coverage was maintained without a break longer than 63 days.
  • Consult your employer for more information.
Small Business Health Insurance in Texas
  • Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may not be refused small group health coverage and may not be cancelled due to illness within the employee group.
  • There are limits on premium prices for businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
  • Insurance providers must offer policies with mandated benefits.
  • Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may join a statewide and approved purchasing association for group health insurance coverage.
  • For rules on professional associations which offer group health coverage, contact the Texas Department of Insurance.

  • The Texas Department of Insurance
    333 Guadalupe
    Austin, TX 78701
    (512) 463-6169
    www.tdi.state.tx.us

Self-Employed Health Insurance in Texas

The self-employed may not purchase small group health insurance.

Individual Health Insurance in Texas

  • Private insurance providers may deny individual insurance due to health problems.
  • Individual providers must offer low cost Consumer Choice Benefit Plans.
  • Those with pre-existing conditions may be subject to an exclusion period unless the insurance is through an HMO.
  • Insurance providers may attach an elimination rider to a policy or require an exclusion period of up to 24 months.
  • During the first two years of coverage, any claim allows the provider the right to review medical records for the five years previous to application.
  • If a pre-existing condition is found, the provider may refuse to pay the claim.
  • Pregnancy may be considered a pre-existing condition, but genetic information may not.
  • Creditable coverage is available to those with pre-existing conditions if continuous coverage was maintained without breaks over 63 days.
  • Insurance may not be cancelled because of sickness.
  • Premium prices are not limited.
  • For low income individuals and those who are HIPAA eligible, Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool offers health insurance assistance

Texas Health Care Programs

Medicaid, Texcare Chip, and Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program provide assistance to low income families and individuals.

Location Status of State Exchange Decision Medicaid Expansion Decision Executive Activity
Texas Default to Federal Exchange Opposes