Health care coverage helps you keep your children healthy by paying for doctor visits and regular checkups. It also pays for their medical care if they get sick or injured. There are several ways to get health coverage for your children:
- Through your insurance at work, if your employer offers a health plan.
- From an insurance company or a health maintenance organization (HMO).
- Through Children's Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), if you qualify.
Get a plan through your job
If you have health insurance at work, you can usually add your children to your plan as dependents. You can keep your children on your health plan until they turn 26. They may stay on your plan even if they’re married. But you can’t add their spouses.
You can add your grandchildren to your plan if you claim them as dependents on your tax return. They can stay on your plan until they turn 25.
Buy your own plan
If you don't have a health plan through your job or you want more coverage, you can buy coverage from an insurance company. There are a lot of types of plans. You can buy a plan that covers only your child or your entire family. A company can't refuse to sell you a plan because of health factors, including a preexisting condition or disability.
We have a list of insurance companies that sell health plans in Texas.
To shop for insurance through the federal marketplace, visit HealthCare.gov or call 800-318-2596. If you buy a health plan through the marketplace, you might be able to get a subsidy to help pay for it.
With so many options, buying a health plan can be confusing. Companies have representatives to help answer your questions about their plans.
Learn more: Health insurance: 5 things you may not know
Get a plan from Children's Medicaid or CHIP
Children in Texas might be able to get low cost or free health coverage from Children’s Medicaid or from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Both programs cover doctor visits, prescription drugs, dental care, eye exams, glasses, and more.
You don’t have to pay anything to get Children’s Medicaid. Families with CHIP coverage pay less than $50 a year. You’ll have to pay copays for some health services. A copay is an amount you pay each time you get a service, like going to the doctor or filling a prescription.
For more information or to apply for Children's Medicaid or CHIP, visit the Texas Health and Human Services website or call 877-KIDS-NOW (543-7669). You can use the same application for both programs.
See our Health care coverage guide to learn more about health insurance and the plans available.