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Whether you are a family of four and need to make sure your children are taken care of, or you’re entering your golden years and want to be sure you have the health coverage you need as you age, having insurance is a necessity in the sate of Texas. Without it, you could be looking at paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars out of pocket each year. Unfortunately, insurance coverage itself isn’t cheap in most cases. Still, you need to find the most affordable options for you. Check out this guide to cheap health insurance in Texas to help you determine which plans may fit your needs and how you can find them.
The Affordable Care Act
The state of Texas takes part in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (often shortened simply to ACA). Enacted in 2010 and mostly put into effect in 2014, the ACA helps to ensure people across the country have access to affordable health insurance. The program has more than halved the number of uninsured people in the country, and more than 1 million people in the state of Texas enrolled for the 2019 year alone.
The state offers both short-term and long-term Texas health insurance through the ACA website. When someone decides to sign up for insurance through the program, he or she needs to wait for the open enrollment dates. For the year 2020, people can enroll between November 1, 2019 and December 15, 2019. However, short-term insurance or other enrollment periods become available if the person meets specific qualifications.
Like insurance providers who work through employers, ACA insurance lasts only for a one year, meaning you need to sign up again each November or December. However, it is often the easiest way to find affordable insurance and can assist those who don’t make enough money to afford even basic plans through the website.
Medicaid in Texas
Sometimes, families simply can’t afford traditional insurance plans. In situations such as this, Texas Medicaid may be an option. Available at state and federal levels, Medicaid is available for citizens, legal aliens, permanent residents, or U.S. nationals who fall below the poverty income levels and are pregnant, a parent, a child, or have a specified disability. A one-person household who meets eligibility requirements would need to make $24,731 or less per year.
Other Affordable Plans
Outside of Medicaid, other insurance providers are divided into metal tiers in Texas:
• Expanded Bronze
Each tier offers its own set of benefits, and your age impacts how much your premiums are. Catastrophic coverage is the bare minimum and meant to cover unexpected emergencies. These plans are best for young, healthy people who don’t have a lot of routine medical needs but may run into an emergency.
Silver plans are a middle ground that balances premium payments with out-of-pocket costs. Silver plans are typically the best option for low-income families because of their cost-sharing reduction variations. If you expect to have a lot of medical needs, gold is the plan for you. These are best for routine expensive prescriptions or for people who want lower copays.
Average Costs of Medical Plans in Texas
In most cases, the older you are, the more you can expect to pay. In Texas, the average 21-year-old will pay $284 per month for catastrophic coverage and $443 per month for gold coverage. A 60-year-old would pay $770 and $1201, respectively, for the same coverage. Regardless of age, the most affordable place to find each tier will vary depending on your deductibles and other needs.
Living without health insurance just isn’t feasible. Healthcare costs in Texas don’t need to be more than you can handle. All it takes is a bit of knowledge and some legwork to find plans that will be better suited to you and your family’s needs. You don’t need to go it alone, either. If you need help determining what kind of coverage you and your loved ones need, or if you simply have questions that you need answers to, FirstQuote Health can help. Get in touch with us today. An experienced insurance professional can help you find the medical coverage you need by answering questions, searching plans, and walking you through each step of the process.