For many of us, health insurance is something we don’t think about from day-to-day.
Maybe you receive insurance through your employer, with the premiums coming straight out of your paycheck. Or perhaps you have government-provided insurance because your income level is below a certain amount.
Either way, if you have insurance, you are in the majority. Yet, despite the importance of health insurance, 8.5 percent of Americans
, or more than 27.5 million people, are uninsured.
While insurance doesn’t cover everything and you may have to pay deductibles and copays, having health insurance is still important for lowering your costs and getting you important medical care.
If you’ve found yourself uninsured, keep reading to learn what you need to know to get health insurance in Texas.
Narrow Your Insurance Needs First
Before you begin your search for the right insurance or start looking into how much health insurance costs, you first need to assess your own personal insurance needs.
Texas is home to a wide selection of insurance providers and coverage plans.
Most types of insurance cover basic medical care, or at least a portion of them or a portion after you pay a deductible or copay. This includes things like regular doctor’s office visits or preventative care.
But while one insurance may cover multiple visits to your primary care physician each year for chronic conditions, another may not. In the same way, if you need to visit specialist doctors for any medical conditions you may have, you’ll want to choose a health insurance that covers at least a portion of those visits.
To start your search for the right health insurance in Texas, begin by listing all of the medical services you typically use during a year. This includes regular visits to a doctor or specialist, blood work, physical therapy, and any medications you might take.
Having this information in front of you will help you narrow your various insurance options once you start checking out the plans available.
While you might be planning to shop only for health insurance, don’t forget about other types of insurance as well. If you’re losing your dental or vision coverage, you may be able to find a health insurance bundle that will cover you for all three, or for some combination.
Gather Your Important Information
With your insurance needs in mind, the next step is to gather your personal information.
When you go to apply for insurance coverage, you’ll need to fill in plenty of forms and provide some personal information. Typically, this means your Social Security number, date of birth, citizenship information, and address. You’ll likely also need to disclose any pre-existing conditions.
Never attempt to lie or omit any pre-existing conditions. Doing so could cause your insurance provider to later terminate your coverage. While your pre-existing medical condition could make you ineligible for some insurance coverage, there are providers out there that offer plans for those with medical conditions.
It’s better to find a plan that covers your medical condition than to risk losing your coverage later on.
If you are applying for health insurance for your spouse and/or children, you’ll need their personal information as well.
Figure Out When You Can Apply for Coverage
Health insurance isn’t something that anyone can apply for and purchase year-round.
Instead, you’ll either need to apply during an open enrollment period for health insurance or else have a special circumstance.
Special circumstances include things like moving, getting married, or losing your employer-provided health insurance. If you fall under one of these or several other categories, you can apply for permission to purchase a health insurance plan outside of the open enrollment
for health insurance 2020 period.
In this case, you would be granted a special enrollment period.
Otherwise, you’ll need to wait. When is open enrollment for health insurance? You’ve already missed it for 2020. To get purchase a policy for this year, you would have needed to enroll between November 1 and December 15
If you know you’ll need coverage in 2021, you’ll need to wait until the first of November to apply for coverage.
If you aren’t able to apply for a special enrollment period but need insurance before the open enrollment period begins, you do have other options. One is to purchase a short term plan
This plan usually includes a locked-in deductible and will help you protect yourself until you can purchase a longer-term plan. In most cases, short term insurance plans are for 6 months or less.
Use a Search Site
Now that you have all of your information ready and have determined when you are eligible to apply for insurance coverage, it’s time to start shopping for the right plan for yourself and your family.
While you may know some of the Texas health insurance companies that offer coverage in your area, don’t head straight to their individual websites.
Doing so makes it difficult to compare plans from several companies. These websites are also often difficult to manage.
Instead, use a search site like National Insurance Direct. That way you can easily compare plan options from a variety of providers. Then, when you find the right plan for you, you can quickly and easily get a quote and apply online, and even connect with an agent to get any questions you might have answered.
Protect Yourself and Your Family with Health Insurance
Now that you know how to get the right health insurance in Texas, it’s time to start shopping for the right coverage for you and your family.