If people residing in Texas are looking for an individual health insurance plan, or if they are planning to change to a new plan or searching for a low-cost health plan, then they need to go through this article. Among the contiguous U.S. states, Texas is the largest state having a population of around 28 million, which is the second-highest in the country. The latest Forbes study on the healthiest states has placed Texas at 37th place and as far as health insurance coverage is concerned, Texas ranks lowest.
The population growth over the last ten years has been 1.5% to over 2% that is equal to half a million people per year, and the state is likely to have a total population of 50 million by the year 2050. People might be thinking that why these aspects are being discussed and how it related to their health insurance matter. Thus, they need to understand that these factors do play a role, health insurance carriers while determining the plan benefits and monthly premiums of their plans do take care of these factors.
In the last few years, the healthcare costs in Texas have risen significantly, thus the state has one of the highest rates of uninsured people in the country. It is harsh fact that around 20% of the people under 65 lack healthcare and almost half of the non-high school graduates don’t have health insurance. People of this state need to understand that having health insurance is important, not only because it protects them from exorbitant doctor’s bills in case of major health issues but it also provides them a complete peace of mind. However, residents of these states should try to find cheap and affordable health insurance, if they no longer want to remain uninsured.
Health Insurers in Texas
Currently, Texas has 8 healthcare providers offering plans through Texas exchange and 2 carriers offering plan off-exchange. People residing in cities like Houston or Texas probably have several options, as far as health carriers and plans are concerned. In rural areas of the state, Blue Cross Blue Shield is the most popular choice for consumers but other carriers are also planning to expand in these areas. This expansion means that people in rural areas will now more choices and options. Besides, people in rural areas will also able to obtain plans at a competitive price. Moreover, the increase in competition in the health insurance market of Texas will also allow improving subsidies offered by the more affordable carriers. It further means that people who qualify for an Affordable Care Act subsidy will be able to save more money than usual.
Factors that Affect Health Insurance in Texas
Factors like an individual’s city, age, medical conditions, any predictable health issues, and any pre-existing medical conditions are significant in deciding health insurance premiums and benefits for every individual. Some of the factors are discussed below:
There are four levels of coverage namely, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum available in the ACA marketplace. The benefits offered by the plans in all the four levels are the same, though the plans at a lower level like bronze come with lower monthly premiums but have higher out-of-pocket payments.
Place of Living
The price of health insurance may change depending on the city in which the individual is residing in Texas, and the healthcare providers serving in that city.
Income and Family Size
Depending upon their income and family size, individuals may qualify for the Affordable Care Act subsidy. Individuals who qualify for this subsidy will have to pay lower health insurance premiums and co-pays.
Individuals irrespective of their age are allowed to enroll in healthcare plans through ACA. Though older people in many places are required to pay higher premiums compared to people of a younger age for the same level of benefits.
People who smoke or consume any tobacco products are generally charged higher health insurance premiums. The ACA has allowed health insurance companies to charge higher premiums from tobacco users. Sometimes health insurance premiums can be up to 50% more.
The health insurance market in Texas can be overwhelming and people’s minds find it hard to shop for a cheap and affordable health plan. To help people out in the search, there are some good health insurance portals available that will help people find the best plan in their budget. These portals provide a comprehensive array of information related to health insurance and also provide people with the tool to compare plans of different carriers to find the right option for themselves and their families.