In Texas’ fourth year with a market exchange, 4.3 million people are still without insurance. Here is what you need to know to enroll on the marketplace.
- Nov. 1: Open enrollment begins.
- Dec. 1: This is the last day you can enroll for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2017.
- Jan. 31, 2017: This is the last day to enroll or change a 2017 health plan. After this day, enrollment or change in plans is only permitted if a person qualifies for a Special Enrollment Period.
How to Enroll
You can apply for coverage in four different ways:
- Online: Go to healthcare.gov and enroll by Jan. 31, 2017.
- Phone: Call the Marketplace Call Center at any hour of the day at 1-800-318-4325.
- In Person: There are a number of community resources that will walk you through the process, including:
- Tomball Regional Medical Center. 281-401-7242. essconnection.com. 605 Holderrieth Boulevard, Tomball.
- Resource Corporation of America. 855-307-6386. www.resource-corp.com. 17200 St. Luke’s Way, The Woodlands.
- Lone Star Community Health Center. 936-539-4004. www.lonestarfamily.org. 605 Conroe Medical Drive, Conroe.
- Montgomery County Hospital District. 936-523-5000. www.mchd-tx.org. 1400 South Loop 336 W., Conroe.
- You can find all the other locations to enroll in person here.
- By mail: You can fill out and mail in a paper application. You will receive eligibility results via mail within two weeks. The paper application will be available for 2017 on Nov. 1.
Important Things to Know before Enrolling
- What you pay for insurance depends on your income. You can enter in your expected income online for your year of coverage and find out if you qualify for a tax credit that will lower your monthly insurance bill.
- All plans cover essential health benefits including hospitalization, emergency services and prescription drugs; pre-existing conditions; and preventative care.
- In 2016, if you don’t have insurance, you will have to pay a penalty of either 2.5 percent of your income or $695 per adult (whichever is higher). The fee for 2017 will be adjusted for inflation.
- You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period due to a major life event including losing health coverage, getting married or having a baby.