Texas is a state that’s often referred to as a “bailout state” for its low premiums and generous health care programs.
But with that title comes a downside, as the state has seen several recent high-profile disasters.
On March 24, a tornado that tore through the state’s capital city killed more than 50 people.
The next day, an earthquake shook the nation’s second-largest city, Oklahoma City, and sent the roof of the Oklahoma State Capitol tumbling.
That same day, a magnitude-7.4 earthquake struck the Pacific Northwest and triggered a tsunami that killed more and injured more than 1,000 people.
On Tuesday, an explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant in West, Texas, killed 14 people and injured dozens more, and the Texas Department of State Health Services reported that nearly 50,000 residents had been displaced by the devastating storms.
On Friday, the deadliest mass shooting in American history left 49 people dead at an Orlando nightclub.
In Louisiana, an estimated 3,000 homes were destroyed by the flooding that followed Hurricane Harvey.
And on Monday, Texas’ largest hospital reported that the number of people with heart attacks rose to 972 on Thursday.
On Thursday, Texas Gov.
Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order requiring insurers to offer coverage to anyone who has been injured by a tornado, hurricane, or other natural disaster in the last five years.
The order, which is currently in effect, comes as a result of the state experiencing record-high levels of insurance premiums in 2018, and as Abbott has been criticized for being too lenient with the insured in the face of a wave of tornadoes.
The fact that insurers are seeing premiums skyrocket is good news for the insured.
However, the problem for those of us who are trying to shop around and find the cheapest policy is that insurance companies are not telling us the full story.
We don’t know exactly how many people are being covered by the state, because they are not sharing it with us, said David Smith, a senior vice president at the Association of Health Plans and Insurers.
“We don, unfortunately, have the numbers to do that, so we don’t have any kind of idea how many of the people who are being offered coverage by these insurers are actually actually being offered insurance by the insurers.”
Smith said it’s possible that as many as 2 million people in Texas could be underinsured and that more than 10 million people could be in the process of being reinsured.
“What you’re seeing is not a single catastrophic event.
That’s not the way insurance companies want you to understand, but the reality is that they have this tremendous amount of uncertainty about what will happen and they want to make sure that you have the coverage you need,” Smith said.”
We don�t have the data to say what the number is for how many folks are actually being covered and who the people are.”
If insurers were willing to tell us the real number of insured and how many have been reinsured, we would be able to look at that, said Smith.
“I would like to know if there is a way that we could actually get some more data on that, and that’s why we�re really interested in getting a better understanding of the situation and getting an actual analysis of the numbers.”
As Texas continues to experience a string of major disasters, many insurance companies have taken to selling insurance to those in need.
On March 25, Anthem announced that it would sell policies to those who were in need through the end of the year.
A few weeks later, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas (BCBS) announced that its policyholders would be given the option to buy insurance from Anthem or another provider.
But that option only applies to the two companies offering coverage.
In the meantime, some insurers are selling policies through private groups and other non-profit organizations that do not have the option of offering insurance to individuals.
Smith said that when it comes to the Texas market, insurance companies need to get to the bottom of what is going on.
“I think it�s important to know how many Americans are being impacted and to be able, if you can, to make a comparison to how many other states are being affected,” he said.
“Because then, you know, what you do need to do is to work with the insurance companies and the state regulators to find out what are the costs that we�ve incurred for these policies that we were offered.”
If you or anyone you know needs help getting insured, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.