Senators Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) recently introduced a bill (S 3701) at the national level that would create several pilot programs allowing states, including Texas, to offer uninsured residents health plans that provide basic coverage paired with catastrophic coverage for individuals who have high out-of-pocket health costs.
The bill would establish six pilot projects, for which states could apply through the Health and Human Services Department. At least two projects would create a “hybrid” health insurance plan that would combine primary and preventive care coverage with high-deductible catastrophic coverage. Private health insurance companies could market this plan to both uninsured individuals and small businesses. There are at least two other projects, which would help privately insured individuals who have out-of-pocket costs that exceed $10,500 annually.
The proposed legislation also would provide for gradual subsidization of plan premiums for workers with annual incomes below 200 percent of the … Read More