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Health Insurance Options
Texas COBRA Insurance
Have you learned that you do not qualify for federal COBRA insurance? Are you looking to learn about what other options you have? Fortunately in the state of Texas if you don't qualify for federal COBRA after job loss you may still qualify for the Texas COBRA insurance plan set up by the state government. In addition you may qualify for private insurance plans and state run community and governmental insurance plans. All of these options provide important ways for individuals or families to maintain their health insurance and not have to experience any lapse in insurance coverage. Explore your options in Texas to make a decision about what health insurance plan is right for you.
Possibility #1: Texas COBRA Insurance, Average Individual Cost $400 or More
The first possibility for health insurance if you don't qualify for federal COBRA is Texas COBRA insurance. This plan is identical to the federal plan in many ways but extends coverage to people who work at companies with a maximum of 19 employees and therefore were eliminated from the national COBRA option.
Texas COBRA is a law that lets you keep your employer medical plan for up to six months if you meet the federal requirements for qualifying event and beneficiary, and then meet the state requirement for qualifying plan. This state requirement says that your employer plan has 2-19 workers on it, is still being used at the company, and you were a part of it for three months or more.
Texas COBRA health insurance only lasts for 6 months from the date of the last day of coverage. Additionally it will come at a high cost and you will be responsible for paying 102% of the premium or more.
Possibility #2: Government and Community Health Plans, Average Cost Free or Reduced Cost
The second option is government and community health programs. These programs come at no cost or a reduced cost, but unfortunately most people do not qualify for them. The plans are set up for families who earn poverty level wages and normally this is based on a previous tax return. Since most folks were employed at the time of their last tax return, this isn't an option. However, if you feel you can't afford Texas COBRA or a private plan, it is beneficial to call you local Human Services office to find out if you can qualify.
Possibility #3: Private Health Insurance Plans, Average Individual Cost $100 or More
The final option, and actually the option that most people choose, is a private health insurance plan. These plans most closely resemble employer sponsored plans but come at a much lower price for people and families who are mostly healthy. The plans will only cover your family (or you) so the insurance company can offer a lower rate then what they charge for an entire company. You can learn about private health insurance plans by getting a quote below which will give you a comprehensive list of plans that are available to you. It can also provide options to very low cost plans that are only meant for the short term or for emergencies. These plans are known as short-term plans, high deductible plans, and catastrophic coverage/emergency coverage plans.
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Texas Frequently Asked Questions
My workplace informed me I don't qualify for Texas COBRA but I think I should; what can I do?
The best thing to do if you think you were wrongly denied COBRA coverage is to contact the Texas Department of Labor and let them know why you believe you should qualify for State Continuation in Texas. From there they will determine if you have a valid case and help you move forward to claim your benefits.
Will my upcoming surgery be covered if I enroll in COBRA in Texas?
Since COBRA is a continuation of the group plan you had at your workplace, or the covered employee had, any surgery that would have been covered will still be covered. If you are unsure if the procedure would be covered, it is best to reach out to the provider of your Texas COBRA.
What will my prescriptions cost be? I am enrolled in Texas Mini COBRA.
The cost for your prescriptions under Texas State Continuation, also known as Mini COBRA, will be the exact same price as they were while you were on the employer plan. Texas COBRA is a continuation of the identical plan that you can use after job loss.
Is there a way to continue to use Texas COBRA coverage after the 6-month period?
Currently there is no way to extend Texas COBRA beyond the 180-day term length. When your coverage ends it is best to have another plan in place so you do not experience a lapse in coverage. You can explore these options for coverage after COBRA.
Will my Texas COBRA insurance work if I move to another state?
It depends on the health insurance plan and provider. Most health insurance plans are only valid within a certain area and may not work if you move out of state. The best way to investigate if you can move with your plan and continue to use Texas COBRA is to contact the plan administrator.