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Texas Department of Insurance
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Need health insurance? How to find a new health plan now.

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Most insurance companies only sell health plans during an open enrollment period that starts in November. There are other options if you need health insurance.

  1. Buy a plan from an insurance company or HMO

    The federal government will allow you to buy a plan on HealthCare.gov during open enrollment and special enrollment periods. If you buy a plan from Healthcare.gov, you might qualify for tax credits to help pay your premium.

    If you already have a plan through HealthCare.gov, you may now qualify for increased tax credits.

    Many companies also offer short-term plans or alternative health plans to cover certain illnesses or to cover you until you can get another kind of plan. Know that most alternative plans don’t cover all injuries and medical conditions and may not pay for all the care you need.

  2. Continue the plan you had at work

    If your health coverage is ending because you lost your job, you can continue your plan for 18 months under the federal law, COBRA. Texas law requires some group plans to let you keep your plan for another six months after COBRA coverage ends. This is called state continuation. If you aren’t eligible for COBRA, you might still be able to keep your plan through state continuation. If you continue your plan, you will have to pay the premium. Ask your former employer about these options.

  3. Ask your association, school, or church

    Some membership associations and churches offer group plans to their members. Colleges often offer plans to their students. Because group plans spread costs out over more people, they’re usually less expensive than plans you buy directly from an insurance company or agent.

    Note: Health care sharing ministries aren’t regulated by the state, and there is no guarantee they will pay claims.

  4. Get on your spouse’s or parent’s plan

    Check with your spouse’s job to see if you can get on that plan. If you’re under 26, you can get on your parent’s health plan. You don’t have to live with your parent or be claimed as a dependent. You can have a full-time job, be married, or be going to school. Ask your parent to talk to their employer or their insurance company about how to add you.

  5. Look into government programs

    There are several government programs that provide health coverage. You have to qualify for these programs, mostly based on income.

    • Children's Medicaid or CHIP provides coverage for children and pregnant women.
    • Medicaid provides coverage for some people who can't afford private coverage.
    • Medicare provides coverage for people over age 65 and people with disabilities.

TDI can help

Call us at 800-252-3439 with questions about your coverage options.

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For more information, contact: MediaRelations@tdi.texas.gov

Last updated: 1/13/2022