Need Health Care For the New Year? Time’s Running Out!

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS –  For those unemployed, underemployed, self-employed or not offered health insurance by their employer, the healthcare marketplace known as is available, but you only have until Jan. 16 to enroll or make modifications to your existing health plan. 

Set up several years ago and known commonly as “Obamacare,” the online site offers medical, dental and other coverages to those who are not covered under a job or family member’s plan. Since the program is run through the federal government, applicants’ income, dependents and other factors are taken into consideration, with generous grants being given – sometimes tens of thousands of dollars a year – to make decent plans affordable to people who otherwise, could not afford them. 

Some of the plans will cost users close to nothing, or be priced very much below market prices. But buyer beware, since this is tied to the IRS, any changes in your income will affect that price, causing you to possibly pay more taxes in April to make up for a higher income not reported when you sign up. 

For Texas residents, the plan features many well-known insurance companies, widely accepted in Houston County and nearby hospitals. You will want to check and make sure, though, as once you have chosen a plan, you cannot change it or enroll at all until the next open enrollment, late into 2024. 

To sign up, you must go to the website, sign up for an account and answer a survey about your life and income. Honesty is the key, since that will be compared to your tax return, later. Then you select which types of plans you need, medical, dental, etc., before being able to see prices and compare coverages, co-pays, prescriptions costs and the rest. 

Once you have chosen your plan, the insurance company will bill you the adjusted rate, directly, and your coverage is not official until you have paid the first month’s bill. 

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

Similar Posts