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Health Insurance in Texas

Texas health insurance plans protect you in the event of an illness, accident or medical emergency. Many medical insurance plans exist to choose from, making it easy to find a plan that suits your needs. Additionally, failing to have health coverage can result in tax penalties and other consequences. Many employers provide health insurance options to their employees automatically. If your employer does not offer such benefits, then you will need to find coverage on your own to avoid tax penalties. You may use a private company or the federal health insurance marketplace, which allows you to compare options that are available. Comparing rates while shopping for medical insurance helps you save money while also picking a plan that covers all your health needs. In the sections below, learn everything you need to know about using the health insurance marketplace in TX, choosing a plan and enrolling in healthcare.

How to Use the Texas Health Coverage Marketplace

The health insurance marketplace in Texas is a tool you can use to buy affordable health insurance. A national health care marketplace is available from the federal government or you can use the Texas Health Options program, which part of the Texas Department of Insurance. The health insurance marketplace is designed for individuals who do not have group coverage provided by an employer.

When using the Texas marketplace for health care, you have a certain window of time in which you can apply for coverage. The time you may complete health insurance enrollment is called an open enrollment period. Generally, there is one open enrollment period each year. If you are in a situation that requires you to obtain health insurance outside of that period, then you may purchase health care benefits at a different time. Life events that qualify you to enroll for health insurance at any time include:

To use the health care marketplace in Texas, you can preview your plan options or create an account to sign up for a plan. To view medical insurance plans, you will need to enter your zip code, age, household income, household size and other information to see available options. Once you have entered your information, you will see a variety of choices, including Bronze, Silver and Gold level plans with an estimated monthly premium.

Texas Health Insurance Application Process

After you learn to use the health insurance marketplace, you can select a Texas medical insurance plan that fits your needs. Note that you cannotenroll in health insurance plans outside of the open enrollment period unless you have a qualifying life event. When you select a plan that suits your needs, you can sign up by following the steps described for your individual plan. You may also buy health insurance from a private company, broker or other independent agent who offers health coverage. You can use the private agency’s instructions for enrolling in health care if you use this option.

Texas Health Insurance Plan Comparison Methods

Your TX health insurance rate will depend on a number of factors, such as your age, where you live and whether or not you use tobacco. Keep in mind that health insurance companies cannot deny coverage for preexisting conditions, but that your health status may affect your insurance rates. Another factor that affects the long-term cost of your health coverage is the ratio of your monthly premium to your deductible. A deductible is the amount you must pay upfront at the hospital or pharmacy before your insurance company will begin covering certain medical needs. Your premium is the amount you pay each month. In general, having a higher health insurance deductible will lead to more affordable health insurance bills each month. On the other hand, a low deductible will lead to higher monthly bills.

Penalties for Not Having Health Insurance in Texas

Even if you think you do not need health insurance, the consequences for not having insurance are often greater than the expense you pay for health care itself. Aside from fines you may pay for not having health coverage, you risk not being covered in the event you become sick or injured and need medical help. While a medical insurance plan may seem expensive, it protects you in the event that you need medical care.

You may be exempt from penalties for not having TX health insurance if you meet any of the following criteria:

If you choose not to have TX health care coverage and you are not exempt from penalties, then you will be charged a fee when you file your taxes. The health insurance penalty fee will be calculated as a percentage of your household income or it will be based off of the yearly premium for a Bronze plan on the marketplace. These fees can often cost as much as paying for health coverage in the first place.