Austin – Health care experts are urging Texans to sign up for insurance at HealthCare.Gov by this Saturday, January 15, the last day most people can sign up for 2022. Coverage will start on February 1 for Texans who sign up by the deadline.
Enrollment has already hit a record high in Texas, with more than 1.7 million Texans signing up at HealthCare.Gov from November 1 through December 15, 2021, with enrollment continuing through January 15, 2022. The previous high-point for signs-ups during an open enrollment period was in 2016, when 1.3 million Texans got HealthCare.Gov coverage.
“If you need health insurance for 2022, this is the time to check out your options on HealthCare.Gov,” said Every Texan Senior Policy Analyst Stacey Pogue. “Congress cut the price of insurance on HealthCare.Gov, so most people who sign up for a plan will pay less than $10 per month.”
Financial assistance is available to most Texans who sign up for insurance on HealthCare.Gov. In fact, after Congress increased the financial assistance earlier this year, many Texans with lower incomes are now eligible for a comprehensive health plan with a $0/month premium and low or no deductible.
Most Texans with 2021 HealthCare.Gov coverage who did not return to the Marketplace to select a 2022 plan by December 15 were automatically re-enrolled. These Texans have until January 15 to compare and change plans. The best way to ensure you have the plan that meets your needs and the best deal available is to compare options before the deadline.
This year, Texans also have more health plan options through HealthCare.Gov than in the past. Fifteen insurers are in the Texas Marketplace for 2022, up from 10 the year prior.
Insurance plans on HealthCare.Gov must include key benefits like mental health care, maternity care, prescription drug coverage, hospitalization services, and coverage for pre-existing conditions. Plans outside HealthCare.Gov do not have to offer the same protections or financial help.
If you miss the January 15 deadline, you can only enroll or change plans in 2022 if you qualify for a “special enrollment period.”
Community organizations across the state are standing by to offer Texans free, expert help with the sign-up process. Using the Get Covered Connector, Texans can locate certified enrollment assisters at local community-based organizations who can help them sign up for health coverage through HealthCare.Gov, Medicaid, and CHIP.
Examples of enrollment assistance organizations serving major metro areas include:
- Austin: Organizations providing assistance include Foundation Communities, CommUnityCare, Light and Salt Association, Lonestar Circle of Care, and more. For more information and options, call 2-1-1 or (512) 381-4520, or visit ProsperHealthCoverage.org or www.getenrolledatx.com.
- Houston: Organizations providing assistance include Change Happens, Legacy Community Health, Light and Salt Association, Boat People SOS-Houston, HOPE Clinic, Avenue360, El Centro de Corazón, VN Teamwork, Inc., Spring Branch Health Center, Bee Busy Wellness Center, and more. To learn more about these and other local options, visit https://widget.getcoveredamerica.org/ to find assistance and book an appointment.
- Dallas/Fort Worth: Organizations providing assistance include United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, City Square, Community Council of Greater Dallas, Little Shepard Foundation, Mission East Dallas, Los Barrios Unidos Clinic, Prism Health, North Texas Area Community Health Center, and more. For more information on these and others options, visit Dallas County’s ACA webpage, scroll to the bottom, and click on “Local Marketplace Assistance.”
- San Antonio: Organizations providing assistance include CentroMed, Bexar County Health Collaborative, MHP Salud, and CommuniCare. Visit enrollsa.com or call (210) 977-7997 for more information.
- El Paso: For local assistance, call MHP Salud at (956) 246-4125; Amistad at (915) 298-7307; Centro San Vicente at (915) 858-2932; Project Vida at (915) 533-7057, ext. 340 or 381; or Centro De Salud Familiar La Fe at (915) 534-7979. Enrollment assistance also available from University Medical Center of El Paso.