In Texas, dependent health insurance helps keep you on your parents’ insurance for a long time. Eventually, though, that coverage will expire. When that happens, do you know what to do next?
Just as you can’t drive without car insurance, you can’t go from year to year without health insurance. This guide will help you know exactly what to do when your dependent health insurance expires. Keep reading so that you won’t be caught unaware when the time comes!
How Long Will My Dependent Health Insurance Last?
Ideally, you are reading this before your dependent health insurance has actually expired. In that case, you probably have one simple question: how long is your dependant health insurance in Texas supposed to last?
If you are a dependent under your parents’ insurance, then your coverage will last until you are 26 years old. If you are a dependent under your grandparents’ insurance, you’re covered until you reach age 25.
Where Can I Buy Insurance?
If you have never had to get your own health insurance before, you might not be sure how the process is supposed to work. The good news is that you can get the health insurance you need from many different sources.
Many employers offer insurance to their employees. In fact, it’s not uncommon for prospective employees to strongly consider the company health plan before signing on to a new job.
In some cases, you can buy insurance through other organizations you are part of. This includes churches and unions. You can also buy insurance directly from an insurance agent or a carrier.
Finally, you can seek health insurance through the government’s federal health insurance marketplace. And qualifying applicants may be able to get governmental coverage through Medicare or Medicaid.
Types of Insurance Plans
When your dependent insurance expires, and you have to buy your own health coverage, things can get fairly confusing. For example, you may not know about all the types of insurance plans available to you.
An HMO health plan requires that you go to a doctor within the HMO network. Otherwise, you must pay the full cost of your medical care. However, most HMO plans make exceptions for emergencies (for example, if you get injured and must go to the ER).
EPO plans function like HMO plans in that you must go to doctors within your network or pay the full cost. However, whereas an HMO plan makes you choose a primary care physician and get referrals for visiting specialists, EPO plans usually do not require you to get a primary care physician or get referrals to go to a specialist.
PPO plans are a bit more flexible because they allow you to go to any doctor. However, there is a PPO network, and you can save money by visiting physicians in the network. You also won’t need a primary care physician or a referral to see a specialist.
Point-of-service plans are like PPO plans in that they allow you to visit any doctor but encourage you to stay within the network to save money. You are also required to get a primary care physician and get referrals to visit specialists. However, under a point-of-service plan, women do not need a referral to visit an OB/GYN.
Important Insurance Health Insurance Terminology
Navigating the world of health insurance means reading and understanding some specialized insurance terminology. But don’t worry: we’ve got a breakdown of the three most important terms for you to know.
A deductible refers to the amount of money you will need to pay before your health insurance pays for anything. So someone with a $1,000 will have to pay the full cost of their medical care each year until they hit the $1,000 deductible threshold. Be sure to check the fine print, as your plan may specify different deductibles for in-network and out-of-network visits.
A copayment refers to the amount of money you must pay the physician for certain visits and services. So even if you have met the deductible amount, visiting the doctor is not “free” because you still must pay copays.
Coinsurance may be in some insurance plans and not others (it is usually not in HMO plans, for example). This usually spells out how much your insurance will pay for certain services after your deductible is met. A common example is that the insurance carrier will pay for 80 percent of certain surgical procedures, and you are left paying the other 20%.
When Can I Buy Insurance?
Once you already have health insurance, you usually have to wait until an open enrollment period to sign up for a plan. So if you get insurance through your employer, you will have a brief window each year where you can change the plan or switch carriers altogether.
You can also sign up for health insurance when you are first hired at a new job. It doesn’t have to be employer-provided insurance, though this may end up being a cost-effective solution for you.
Finally, you can sign up for a new health insurance plan if you have a qualifying life event. This includes losing your health coverage (including dependant coverage), moving, getting married, having a baby, and experiencing a serious income reduction.
Factors Affecting Your Health Insurance Costs
When you first start shopping for health insurance, you may start asking yourself: “why does everything cost so much money?” The simple answer is that many different factors affect how much you pay for health insurance in Dallas.
Age is a major factor. Generally speaking, younger people face fewer health complications, and older people face more, and insurance prices reflect this.
Another factor is where you live. Basically, insurance carriers have to consider environmental factors. If you live in a dangerous area or with many health insurance claims, this will be reflected in the price.
Whether you smoke or use other tobacco products is a major factor. Simply put, if you use these products, you can expect to pay more.
Another factor is that insurance is always more expensive for a family than for one person. If you are trying to cover yourself, a spouse, and maybe children, you may need to consider whether it is cheaper to get one group plan or multiple independent insurance policies.
Get New Health Insurance Today
Now you know what to do when your dependent health insurance expires in Texas. But do you know where to get the health insurance you deserve?