You are here

Health Insurance Deadline is Dec. 15 - Texans Can Get Help Signing Up

December 7, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Peter Clark, Texans Care for Children, pclark@txchildren.org

AUSTIN – Texans and others have until Friday, December 15 to sign up for health insurance for 2018 through the Obamacare Marketplace by visiting healthcare.gov or calling 1-800-318-2596.

"We’ve been thrilled to see so many Texans sign up for coverage since open enrollment started November 1," said Melissa McChesney of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a member of the Cover Texas Now coalition. "This year’s short signup window closes next week, so Texans shouldn’t wait a minute longer to start looking at their options and how much financial assistance they can get."

Signups in Texas so far this year are higher than at this point last year, but the shortened signup window this year still threatens to result in an overall decline in enrollment. The Trump Administration shortened the open enrollment period from the previous three-month window to the current month-and-a-half window.

The vast majority of Texans who sign up for a health plan through the Marketplace will receive financial assistance to help pay their monthly premium costs, and some will also get assistance to help with out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and office visit co-pays. In fact, of the more than 1.2 million Texans who purchased insurance through the Marketplace for 2017, 84 percent received financial help to lower the cost of their premiums. Financial help to afford health insurance costs, including tax credits for premiums and cost-sharing reductions for out-of-pocket costs, is still in place.

Anyone who does not sign up for insurance by the deadline or receive insurance from a different source may have to pay a fine. If Congress repeals the individual health insurance mandate, the fine would still be in effect for 2018.

Texans can get help from trained enrollment assisters in their community to choose the best plan for their health care needs and budget.

Local enrollment assistance programs are listed on connector.getcoveredamerica.org and localhelp.healthcare.gov. Texans can also call 2-1-1 in many communities to get connected with local enrollment centers.

Local organizations providing enrollment assistance across the state include the following:

Central Texas: getenrolledatx.com

Corpus Christi: cbcil.org/programs/healthcare-navigator-services

El Paso: unitedwayelpaso.org/enroll-el-paso

Gulf Coast: enrollgulfcoast.com

Rio Grande Valley: mhpsalud.org/programs/our-programs/navigator-program/

San Antonio: enrollsa.com

South Plains, West Texas, and Panhandle: spcaa.info/pan-west-tx-navigation.html

North Texas: enrollnorthtexas.org

Cover Texas Now is a coalition of consumer and faith-based Texas organizations. For more information, visit covertexasnow.org

###