The Obamacare Texas state exchange is run by the federal government. This is because Texas’s government has opted out of running their own exchange. So, the Federal government runs the Obamacare Texas exchange for them.
The healthcare marketplace in Texas is responsible for signing up the people who lack healthcare insurance in Texas. The Obamacare Texas exchange is a place where private health insurance polices–that have met Affordable Care Act regulations–can be purchased.
Texas is one of 36 states that will let the Federal government run their healthcare marketplace. The Obamacare Texas state exchange for Texas residents can be found at: Healthcare.gov.
For a 27 year old (cheapest age) the weighted average in San Antonio, TX (monthly premiums before federal tax credits):
- Cheapest Bronze plan costs $138
- Cheapest Silver plan costs $168
- Cheapest Gold plan costs $192
- Cheapest Catastrophic plan is $109
Learn more about the different Obamacare plans here that the Texas exchange offers.
For a 27 year old (cheapest age) the weighted average in Austin, TX (monthly premiums before federal tax credits):
- Cheapest Bronze plan costs $144
- Cheapest Silver plan costs $169
- Cheapest Gold plan costs $193
- Cheapest Catastrophic plan is $109
How Do I Sign Up For Obamacare In Texas
How do I sign up for Obamacare in Texas?
Sign up for Texas Obamacare by going to Healthcare.gov. You can get healthcare on the Obamacare Texas state exchange 3 ways:
- by mail
- in person
Calling 800-318-2596 (TTY:1-855-889-4325) is the phone number for individual Obamacare help. Small businesses can call 800-706-7893 (800-706-7915) for assistance. You can also find Local Obamacare help here.
Open enrollment begins October 1st of each year. Healthcare coverage begins January 1st. You must apply for healthcare via open enrollment by March 31st. You must have health coverage or pay a penalty due to the Individual Mandate. By applying for coverage, you will find out if you qualify for:
- Subsidized Private Insurance Plan
- Private Insurance Plan
Obamacare For Texas Residents
Obamacare for Texas residents can be bought at Healthcare.gov. You can go there to see what plans you qualify for, and how much they cost. Texas residents with lower incomes are eligible for subsidies or Medicaid.
Do I Need To Sign Up For Obamacare?
To answer the question, “Do I need to sign up for Obamacare?” consider the following:
- If you have insurance through your employer or government, you don’t have to do anything with Obamacare. See how Obamacare affects you here.
- If you don’t have insurance–and you are low income ($15,282 for an individual)–you may qualify for the expansion of Medicaid (see below).
- If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, you will likely qualify for subsidies to buy health insurance when you sign up on the state exchange at Healthcare.gov.
Obamacare Texas Rates
Obamacare Texas rates vary by the same factors that exist in most states. In Texas, the rate you pay for health insurance varies by:
- your age
- your income
- where you live in Texas
- if you smoke
- the level of coverage you pick
Federal tax credits will help people with low to mid incomes pay for heath insurance. Obamacare Texas tax credits are the same as in other states. The only difference is how the poverty level is defined in each state.
Texas rates are also determined by insurance companies who divide Texas into regions when setting the rates. Texas rates are coming in lower than expected. The differences between high and low rates for healthcare insurance in each region include:
- regional differences in medial costs
- relative health and age of the population
- disease/mortality rates of the region
- having to pay for people with preexisting conditions in your area
- increased competition between health insurance plans (lowers costs)
Texas premiums for insurance are coming in lower than expected. The best way to get lower premiums is to qualify for Medicaid. The next best way is to qualify for Federal subsides by falling into the income ranges below.
Subsidies on Texas premiums are for individuals and families who make between:
- $11,490 to $45,960 for individuals
- $15,510 to $62,040 for a family of 2
- $19,530 to $78,120 for a family of 3
- $23,550 to $94,200 for a family of 4
- $27,570 to $110,280 for a family of 5
- $31,590 to $126,360 for a family of 6
- $35,610 to $142,440 for a family of 7
- $39,630 to $158,520 for a family of 8
Individuals and families that make less than this range may be eligible for the expansion of Medicaid (detailed below). Those that make more than this range are not eligible for Federal subsidies. But, you should still be able to find cheaper plans than in the private sector.
Those that do fall into this range will get Federal subsidies on their health insurance. Obamacare Texas premiums also depend on the type of plan you choose. See more about Obamacare plans here.
Recent data from a survey from the RAND Corporation on Texas premiums shows that:
For all age groups and plans combined in Texas:
- The Lowest Cost Weighted Average Premium (Bronze) in Texas is $211/month (national average is $249).
- The Lowest Cost Weighted Average Premium (Silver) in Texas is $287/month. (national average is $310).
- The 2nd Lowest Cost Weighted Average Premium (Silver) in Texas is $305/month. (national average is $328).
For a 27 year old (cheapest age) weighted average in Texas (monthly premiums) before federal tax credits:
- The cheapest Bronze plan costs $139
- The cheapest Silver plan costs $189
- The cheapest Gold plan costs $225
- The cheapest Catastrophic plan is $139
For a family of 4 ($50,000 income) weighted average in Texas (monthly premiums):
- The cheapest Bronze plan costs $57/monthly after tax credits
- The 2nd cheapest Silver plan costs $727/month before tax credits
- The 2nd cheapest Silver plan costs $282/month after tax credits
These premiums are the weighted averages for most people. Results will vary based on a few factors for your personal situation. The good news about Texas premiums is that they are cheaper than the national average.
More good news about Texas premiums is that Federal subsidies will help lower costs for many people. Individuals making less than $45,960 are eligible for subsides in Texas. Families of four making less than $94,200 should also qualify for subsidies on premiums.
Also, premiums in Texas are going down because of increased competition. The more insurance companies in Texas, the better. Premiums are going up to cover all those with preexisting conditions. Overall, though, premiums in Texas are still cheaper than the national average.
Medicaid Expansion In Texas
Medicaid expansion in Texas is not going to happen at this time. The Governor does not support the expansion of Medicaid. The Texas Legislature does not support Medicaid expansion, either.
In fact, the Texas Legislature even passed a bill saying that Medicare can’t be implemented without their approval. So, no Medicaid expansion in Texas is going to happen for the time being. This means the Federal government won’t be sending billions of dollars there to fund health insurance expansion via Medicaid.
Expanding Medicaid would bring in billions of dollars from the Federal government. The failure to expand Medicaid is going to make some residents in Texas angry. The worst part is that someone:
- Making $25,000/year will pay half as much insurance as someone making $10,000/year.
- At $25,000/year, you qualify for Federal subsidies that reduce your rates.
- At $10,000/year, you should qualify for Medicaid and have free insurance.
- The failure to expand Medicaid means people making $10,000 will have to buy insurance without any subsides.
You have to make between 133% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Line to be eligible for subsidies. Those making less are supposed to get Medicaid. Because people making less than the poverty line don’t get Medicaid in Texas, they are effectively locked out of getting health insurance.
The irony is that the people Obamacare was supposed to help the most, are the ones getting helped the least.
The Obamacare exchange in Texas will help you see what Obamacare can do for you. Although all of this may sound complicated, what you have to do is sign up at Healthcare.gov.