A broad spectrum of health insurance providers, from industry titans to community nonprofits, are planning to provide individual coverage to Texans as part of the federal health care overhaul.
Here, as in most states, a single provider — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas — holds more than 50 percent of the market share for individual insurance. But, since Texas has a large number of uninsured people and dozens of providers already competing against each other, the state is uniquely positioned to see a high rate of participation in its health insurance exchange, experts said.
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• There are four tiers of individual plans on the health exchange: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Bronze plans will have lower premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs, while platinum plans cost the most but cover more.
• When the plans begin providing coverage as early as January 2014, all must offer the same minimum benefits, which include maternity care and mental health services.
• Families with incomes between 100 and 400 percent of the poverty level are eligible for subsidized insurance on a sliding scale. For a household of two, the poverty level is an annual income of $15,510; for a household of three, it is $19,530.
• Insurers applied to be part of the Texas exchange this spring, and the federal government will finish approving insurers by Sept. 4. The federal government and the Texas Department of Insurance haven’t released a list of insurers who have applied, or the number of insurers.
For more information
Visit healthcare.gov to sign up for email and text updates, ask questions through a live chat, access a checklist of how to prepare for the insurance exchange and find other information. There is also a 24-hour hot line available at 1-800-318-2596.