With the Biden administration extending the COVID-19 special enrollment period for the ACA-compliant plans till 15th of May 2021, Texans who don’t have health insurance coverage till now get another opportunity to enroll in an affordable health insurance plan. Uninsured Texas residents who need to purchase health insurance plans can utilize the federally run marketplace at HealthCare.gov. Texas has one of the highest exchange enrollments in the country only after Florida and California. Affordable Private Individual Plans are purchased either by self-employed residents or individuals employed by small businesses who don’t offer employer-sponsored health benefits or early retirees who will have Medicare coverage on turning 65. Though Texans have the option to directly purchase a health plan from carriers, but if individuals qualify for subsidies based on their low-income, then they will be able to avail themselves of the subsidies only at the federal marketplace.
Vital Statistics of Texas Health Insurance Sector
- During the 2020 open enrollment period, Texas has one of the highest exchange enrollments with 1,116,293 people enrolling in private plans.
- Texas is known to have the highest uninsured rate in the country, according to the US Census Bureau data.
- The uninsured rate in Texas has dropped in the last few years but it would have reduced further if the state would have accepted federal funding to expand Medicaid under the ACA.
- The average price of health insurance in Texas for a 40-year old is $509 per month.
- The Ambetter Balanced Care 29 is the cheapest plan available in the state.
Different Tiers of Metal Plans available in Texas
To cater to the healthcare requirements of individuals of diverse budgets Texas state offers individual private health plans in different metal categories like catastrophic, bronze, expanded bronze, silver, and gold plans. Individuals can find the best health plan in their preferred metal-tier depending upon their budget and healthcare needs. Finding the best health plan for every individual will depend on several factors such as expected health care costs in a given year, household income, and the amount of savings in case of emergency. Individuals who expect higher healthcare needs, especially if they have routine prescription needs, then they should pick a health plan of higher metal tier category like a Gold plan. Gold plans though come with a higher premium but reduces out-of-pocket expenses at the time insured require medical care. The cost of every metal plan in Texas increased from 2020 to 2021, the highest increase was witnesses in Gold plans that rose by 11% whereas the lowest increase was seen in Catastrophic plans that increased by 2%.
The Average Cost of Health Insurance in Texas
Average cost of health insurance in Texas by Metal Tier in the year 2021 is:
|Type of Metal-Tier||Monthly Premium for 21 Years||Monthly Premium for 40 Years|
Private Individual Health Insurance Options in Texas
Individuals who are unable to have government-sponsored health insurance plans in Texas do have the option of private health insurance plans. Selecting the health plan that best-fit an individual’s health requirements and budget, depends upon factors like age, income, health condition, and the number of people in the family that have to be insured. The average monthly premium for ACA-compliant health plans costs $432 in 2020, though the exact cost of the plan will vary based on factors like the area where an individual is living, the plan individual has chosen, and the insurance company providing the plan. Ten health insurance carriers are offering private health insurance plans in the Texas exchange in 2021. With so many carriers available in the state, Texans are going to have plenty of private individual health insurance options.
Different Private Individual Plans Available
In Texas, different private plans are available that individuals can choose for themselves and their families. In most of the counties of Texas, the cheapest individual plan is the Ambetter Balanced Care 29 plan in 2021. Another cheap alternative for Texans is the Blue Advantage Silver HMO℠ 205 plan. Some of the other popular private individual plans in Texas include:
- Friday Catastrophic
- Friday Bronze
- Friday Bronze Plus
- MyBlue Health Silver 405
- Blue Advantage Gold HMO 206