According to data compiled by the Texas Medical Association and other organizations, even before the pandemic approximately five million Texans – more than one-sixth of the state’s population – were uninsured. Then the pandemic hit, leading to layoffs and furloughs which caused many who were previously insured to lose their coverage.
Open Enrollment is Open Again
The annual Open Enrollment window is usually only available from November 1 to December 15. However due to the large number of people who are now unemployed, an additional three-month open enrollment has recently been authorized. It will run from now through May 15, 2021.
If you are looking to shop for coverage for yourself and your family, visit the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas website to review your options and enroll online. If you prefer, you can contact a TMA Insurance Trust advisor for assistance.
COBRA Coverage and Open Enrollment
If you lost employer coverage, you may have been offered the chance to stay on your employer plan through an arrangement known as COBRA coverage. COBRA stands for The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, which extends group health insurance to the recently unemployed and their families usually for about 18 months.
However, the issue is COBRA plans can be very expensive because the employer is no longer subsidizing any of the cost. Even if you are receiving unemployment insurance, the COBRA payment could consume much if not all of your unemployment income.
The expanded open enrollment period will allow those who are on a COBRA plan to shop around or adjust their level of coverage to what may be a more affordable option.
How TMA Insurance Trust Can Help
A layoff is not the only reason you may be looking for coverage. Other life changes might also affect your health insurance needs. For example, if any of the following changes apply to your situation, TMA Insurance Trust may be able to help you find a policy that fits your new situation.
- Gotten married or divorced
- Lost coverage under your spouse’s or parent’s plan
- Had or adopted a child
- Became a foster parent
- Became responsible for child support
Any of these situations or life events qualify you for what is known as a “special enrollment period.” However, you need to act quickly. Special enrollment periods are only available for 60 days from the date of the qualifying event. If you miss this limited window of opportunity, you will have to wait until the next open enrollment period on November 1, 2021 to buy major medical health insurance.
Get Covered in Minutes
If you recently had a qualifying life event and are looking for an individual HMO for yourself or your family, you can shop now and enroll online through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. Click below to go to the enrollment site.
If you have questions and would like a free consultation, one of our health insurance specialists will work with you to review your options and help you get the coverage you need. Contact us today.
For over 60 years, TMA Insurance Trust advisors have been serving Texas physicians, their families and staff. TMA Insurance Trust prides itself on offering unbiased information and strategies to members, along with exclusive group rates on a range of the highest-rated plans in the industry.