Refusing To Expand Medicaid Will Increase Premiums For Some | KERA News

Refusing To Expand Medicaid Will Increase Premiums For Some

Sep 3, 2013

Five stories that have North Texas talking: rejected Medicaid expansion will be costly for Texans, Time Warner Cable and CBS reach a deal, North Texans see wage increases (but not as much as others) and more.

Gov. Rick Perry’s rejection of Medicaid expansion affects more than just the impoverished adults it was meant to cover, The Dallas Morning News reports. According to a recent study by the RAND Corp., 1.3 million fewer Texans will not have health coverage, but another 3 million Texans will see an increase in private health insurance premiums.  

Why? About 320,000 adult Texans who are just above the poverty line will likely take advantage of the Affordable Care Act’s federal subsidies. This will allow them to buy coverage in the individual insurance market, when they would have otherwise been enrolled in Medicaid. The experts behind the study say that these low-income people will affect the claims experience of insurers serving that market. Fewer than one in 20 Texans buy into that market right now, but that number will soon jump. “When exchange subsidies become available to lower-income individuals,” the RAND researchers said, “the average health of the exchange population declines slightly, and premiums increase.”

  • Bringing Proton Therapy Closer To Home: A new $270 million cancer-treatment facility will bring a breakthrough therapy closer to home. The Dallas City Council economic development committee is set to hear the master plan and proposed financing on the Dallas Proton Treatment Center, which is expected to treat 2,000 patients annually if it gets approved. Proton therapy works much like conventional radiation therapy, minus the spillover to healthy tissue. The proton beam can be controlled to provide the biggest blast to the tumor. KERA’s BJ Austin previously reported on this new kind of treatment. [The Dallas Morning News]
  • CBS and Time Warner End Blackout In Time For Football: Time Warner Cable customers in North Texas will get their CBS programming back. CBS and Time Warner and Bright House networks reached a deal over programming fees, and the cable provider will be carrying KTVT/Channel 11 and TXA 21 once more. North Texas customers can rejoice. The deal comes just in time for the premiere of NCIS and season-opening games for the National Football League. [Dallas Business Journal]
  • Dallas Remains Stable In Post-Recession Economy: More than half of American workers say that their income has grown over the last five years, The Atlantic Cities reports. But that all depends on who you’re asking. Wage growth has been uneven across American metro areas. North Texas was on the lower end of the list, seeing a paltry average wage increase of $1,340. But hey, a raise is still a raise.
  • Fantasy Football Leagues Cost Big For Employers: Fantasy football leagues may bring a sense of camaraderie in the workplace, but they can actually cost employers in lost work time, KUHF reports. $8 billion in lost productivity can cause some employers to balk. But for the fantasy league faithful, don’t worry; workplace bans on leagues are rarely successful, so you can rest easy.