A Great Day in the Lone Star State

By Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, Department of Health & Human Services
Posted December 20, 2013

Greetings from the Lone Star State! 

They say everything is bigger here in Texas.  And while Texas leads in so many great things, it’s also home to the nation’s largest rate of people without health insurance.  Nearly one in four Texans – 6.8 million people – are uninsured.  We want to change that.

We have a unique opportunity to help millions more Texans get covered through the Health Insurance Marketplace.  I was joined today by some of them.  And I’m looking forward to meeting with more folks in Dallas this afternoon.  

For Anna Ray and Albert Davis of Houston, this was the first time they are getting covered with health insurance – and they’re both getting a great deal. 

Anna is a 26 year-old part-time English teacher, who is hoping to find a fulltime job.  Before the Affordable Care Act, it would have been very hard for Anna to be able to afford coverage on the individual market.  Texans had few if any real choice, and even fewer choices that were actually affordable. 

Anna has a great story about how, because of the Marketplace – and with the help of financial assistance available through the new law -- she was able to get covered on a Silver plan for only $122 a month.  

Since this was her first time buying insurance for herself, Anna had a lot of questions. But she says she was able to get answers from the call center – which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-318-2596. 

Albert is 50.  He works as a temporary employee for the Houston health department.  And although he works to help make his own community healthier, Albert himself has never had health insurance.  But all that changes in January. 

Albert says he finally decided to get covered because it’s “just the right thing to do. You never know what could happen to you.”  And through the Marketplace he found coverage – with financial assistance – for less than $24 a month. 

Now Albert says he wants to let people know that the site works—you can get enrolled and get a good deal.

So I invite you to follow Albert’s lead! You can learn about your new options online at HealthCare.gov or by phone at 1-800-318-2596/TTY 1-855-889-4325. You can also find help in your community at localhelp.healthcare.gov.

You have more than three months until the end of March to enroll in coverage for 2014. If you’d like your coverage to begin January 1, you have until December 23 to enroll.

  • Kathleen

P.S.  Got covered? Share your story here.