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Texas Department of Insurance
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July 1, 2021

Need health insurance? How to find a new health plan now

Are you shopping for health coverage? We have tips to pick the right health plan, including what questions to ask before you buy. We also talk about the special open enrollment period for ACA health plans.

What are my options for getting health insurance?

You might have access to a group health plan at work or from a union, association, or church. You can also buy an individual health plan directly from an insurance company or licensed agent. You also might be able to get coverage from Medicare or Medicaid.

When can I buy a plan through the Affordable Care Act?

Normally you have to enroll in late fall. But due to the pandemic, federal officials created  special open enrollment period for everyone, which runs through August 15, 2021.

Do you need special documentation to qualify for an ACA plan?

Normally you have to prove that you moved, got married, had a baby, or lost a job. But right now you don’t have to prove any of that. You can select a plan at www.healthcare.gov.

Can you get help paying for this coverage?

Yes, if you purchase coverage through www.healthcare.gov, there are subsidies that can help with coverage, just like in the normal enrollment period.

If you buy a plan, when does coverage start?

You will be covered starting on the first of the month after you choose your plan and get all your paperwork done.

How do you know if you’re getting the right plan?

If you see a certain specialist or doctor, and you don’t want to change, you need to make sure they are in the plan you choose. If you have certain medicines that you take, you’ll want to get a plan that covers them.

What will my plan cost?

There’s a wide array of costs. The premium is what you pay every month for that plan. You also need to know how you’ll pay for the deductible, copays, and coinsurance.

How can you avoid health insurance scams?

An agent or company selling a plan should be able to answer questions about it and know how it works inside and out. Look out for terms like “limited time offer.” You shouldn’t have to rush. If you feel pressured, look elsewhere.

See our health plan shopping guide: www.tdi.texas.gov/consumer/health-insurance-shopping-guide.html. It has a checklist that can help you decide on health coverage.

Learn more about finding health insurance: www.tdi.texas.gov/tips/health-insurance-options.html