Texas Health Insurance Exchanges Available October 1, 2013

AUSTIN, April 16, 2013 – Texas has the largest proportion of citizens in the nation without health care, approximately 6.2 million people.

On July 9, 2012 Texas Governor Rick Perry announced that Texas would not set up it’s own insurance exchange and default to a federally-facilitated health insurance exchange.

Health care insurance through a health insurance exchange will be available on October 1, 2013 with coverage beginning in January 2014.

In addition, consumers with income below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level, who are buying insurance for themselves or their family, will get tax credits that cover a significant part of their costs.  CMS estimates that a family earning twice the federal poverty level would pay less than $3,000 for their coverage for a year – compared to more than $11,000 without health insurance coverage through the Marketplace.

According to CMS, starting October 1, 2013 consumers will be able to file a Marketplace application online, by phone through a toll-free call center, by mail or in person (with accommodations for people with disabilities). 
The Marketplace will automatically tell consumers if they qualify for discounts or qualify to participate in state programs based on their income.
Once the consumer is approved, they can choose the health plan that’s right for them through the online plan comparison tool. The consumer will get an insurance card after they are enrolled in a health plan. When the consumer enrolls in a plan, the tax credit will be sent to the health plan (if qualified). If a consumer is potentially eligible for Medicaid/CHIP, the information is sent to the Medicaid/CHIP state agency.

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