All Texans are worth affordable, comprehensive health coverage, no matter how much money we make or where we’re from. Yet because of our state leaders’ choices, Texas continues to lead the nation with the highest uninsured rate. The latest data do not include the nearly 900,000 Texans who have lost Medicaid during the recent unwinding process. Health insurance is life-changing — helping Texans detect cancer sooner and address chronic health challenges before pregnancy. This open enrollment period is an opportunity for Texans to find and afford critical medications and services, while avoiding crushing medical debt.
The HealthCare.Gov Enrollment Period Is Now Open
It’s time to check out your options for health coverage through HealthCare.Gov! If you or your family need health insurance for 2024, sign up on HealthCare.Gov from November 1, 2023 through January 15, 2024. Enroll by December 15 to have coverage begin on January 1.
A record 2.4 million Texans enrolled in a plan through HealthCare.Gov last open enrollment period. The number of Texans with health insurance through the Marketplace nearly doubled over the last two years. Perks like increased affordability and new financial help were main drivers behind the increase and will continue through 2025. About 95% of Texas consumers got financial help getting coverage, and 59% of Texans paid $10 a month or less for insurance.
New health coverage eligibility rule is not yet finalized.
Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed a new rule that would expand health coverage for DACA recipients, crime victims, and immigrant children by adding immigration statuses to the “lawfully present” category. In the proposed rule, HHS intended to finalize for implementation by November 1.
Any eligibility expansion would require extensive outreach so enrollment assister organizations can maximize the number of people they reach.
Unfortunately, the rule is not finalized yet, which means uninsured, immigrant Texans without coverage options today may not benefit fully this enrollment period. More than 95,000 DACA recipients currently live in Texas, but thousands have been excluded from life-changing health coverage.
Once this rule is finalized, robust outreach will be necessary to ensure people can make the most out of enrollment.
Who can get covered through HealthCare.Gov for 2024?
Even if you’ve checked your options before, it’s worth checking again. New rules and increased affordability may mean there are more appealing coverage options. In 2023, 30% of all enrollees in Texas were new consumers.
Coverage continues to be more affordable through 2025 as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. Many Texans can get comprehensive coverage with a $0 monthly premium and low or no deductibles, including:
- Citizens earning between 100-150% of the federal poverty level (between $14,580 and $21,870 for an individual or between $30,000 and $45,000 for a family of four).
- Lawfully present immigrants, including many Legal Permanent Residents who are ineligible for Medicaid, are also eligible for these enhanced subsidies when earning below 150% of the federal poverty level ($21,870 for an individual or $45,000 for a family of four).
People earning more than 400% of the federal poverty level ($58,320 for individuals and $120,000 for families of four) can continue to get help paying for coverage, with premiums capped at 8.5% of their income.
A new rule from 2023, the “Family Glitch Fix,” bases the “affordability” of a job-based insurance offer on the entire family, not just the employee. This opens up a new window of opportunity for family members to buy HealthCare.Gov insurance that is actually affordable. Families of low-paid workers, small business employees, workers in the service industry, and children under age 18 are expected to benefit the most.
People who have recently experienced a life change, including losing Medicaid, may still be able to buy a Marketplace plan for 2024.
Free help is available for enrollment assistance.
Many Texans, including citizens and lawfully present immigrants, have options when shopping for health coverage. The process can be confusing, but help is available.
- People should not have to pay for help enrolling in Medicaid or Marketplace.
- The Marketplace, assister organizations, and your state will never threaten you or ask for credit card information or payment to qualify you for health coverage.
- No one should enroll you in a plan or change your plan without your consent.
Community organizations across Texas are standing by to offer free, expert help with the sign-up process:
- HealthCare.Gov has a tool to Find Local Help from certified enrollment assisters at local community-based organizations who can help you sign up for coverage through HealthCare.Gov, Medicaid, and CHIP.
- To filter search results for community-based groups, click on the “Assisters” tab above the filters.
The Get Covered Connector lets you search for Texas enrollment assistance locations by zip code. In the Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and Corpus Christi areas, you can also book an appointment for assistance.