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Texas Medicine

Texas Medicine


Complementary Treatment

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 13:03:22 GMT

As the debate over complementary and alternative medicine's place in medicine continues, Texas Medical Association policy recommends physicians stay on top of evidence-based studies of complementary and alternative therapies and routinely ask patients about their use of such therapies.

Keeping the Wheels Turning

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 03:10:54 GMT

The Texas Medical Association's Hard Hats for Little Heads program has given away more than 235,000 helmets to Texas children in the past 22 years. A properly fitting helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and can reduce the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent.

Learn From the Experts

Sun, 02 Oct 2016 03:45:55 GMT

The Texas Quality Summit, scheduled for November 18-19 and hosted by the Texas Medical Association and the American College of Medical Quality, will give physicians the tools they need to prosper in a value-based care environment.

5 Steps to Prepare for MACRA Now

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 03:10:46 GMT

As the medical community awaits the release of final rules to implement the new Medicare payment system under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), physicians can take steps now to prepare for the transition.

The Right Standard?

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 03:15:51 GMT

A shoulder dystocia birth in which the baby was born with neurologic dysfunction is the focus of a negligence lawsuit with broad legal implications.

Enrollment in Health Insurance Through the Marketplace After Implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Texas

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 19:51:45 GMT

The Journal — October 2016 Tex Med. 2016;112(10):e1. By Gordon Gong, MD, MS; Cassandra C. Huey, MS; Coleman Johnson, JD; Debra Curti, MEd, RHIA; and Billy U. Philips Jr, PhD, MPH Gordon Gong, MD, MS; Coleman Johnson, JD; Debra Curti, MEd, RHIA; and Billy U. Philips Jr, PhD, MPH, F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas; and Cassandra C. Huey, MS, F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health, and Department of Human Development and Family Studies, College of Human Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas. Send correspondence to Billy U. Philips Jr, PhD, MPH, Executive Vice President and Director, The F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health, Marie Hall Chair and Professor, Family and Community Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Suite 2B440, 3601 4th St, MS 6232, Lubbock, TX 79430-6232; e-mail: Abstract One of the goals of the Affordable Care Act aims to provide affordable health insurance through the health insurance exchange marketplace (the Marketplace). This study explores enrollments in the Marketplace in Texas and in rural vs urban areas in the East, South, and West regions of the state. Data are derived from the US Census Bureau and the Department of Health and Human Services. A total of 92.7% of eligible non-elderly adult Texans (NEATs) had enrolled in Marketplace insurance as of February 2015. Rural residents were less likely than urban residents to use the Marketplace. Most enrollees (85%) had received tax credits, and 58.6% had received cost-sharing reductions. The number of uninsured NEATs was reduced by 710,000 by 2014, which is equivalent to two-thirds of the enrollees in the Marketplace. One-third of the enrollees previously had private or employer-based insurance before enrollment into the Marketplace. Introduction In the past decade, health insurance costs increased much faster than wages.1 The average insurance premium of employer-based health insurance for a family of 3 increased from $10,880 in 2005 to $17,545 per year in 2015.2 If the annual income of a family of 3 is $20,100, then the family must spend 87% of its income to pay the insurance premium alone, and to pay the copay and deductible of $1,260 if anyone in the family falls ill. According to the definition of poverty in the United States, such a family is not considered to be poor because the income is above the federal poverty level (FPL) of $20,090. Worse yet, insurance companies refused to cover people with diseases termed "preexisting conditions." It is not surprising that approximately 50 million people (16.3% of the total US population) had no health insurance in 2010.3 In 2010, President Obama signed ACA into law to provide affordable health care insurance and reduce the overall health care costs for individuals and the government.4 One of the key provisions of ACA is that individuals or families with incomes between 100% and 400% of the 2015 FPL (between $24,250 and $97,000 for a family of 4) will receive federal subsidies or tax credits if they choose to purchase insurance through the health insurance exchange marketplace ("the Marketplace") provided by the federal government.5,6 Under ACA, more people can be covered by employers because ACA mandates that employers with 50 or more employees must provide affordable health insurance or face tax penalties. Those employees who are not eligible to receive employer-based insurance (eg, workers in a small business with fewer than 50 employees) can purchase insurance through the Marketplace. The Marketplace provides four tiers of coverage as follows: Bronze, paying 60% of health care expenses; Silver, 70%; Gold, 80%; and Platinum, 90%. As an example, the average 2016 ACA health plan premium for a person aged 60 years (excluding any government subsidies) for a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Plat[...]