Tomorrow is October 1st, which means we are entering the fourth quarter of the year. The fourth quarter has always been a traditional time to evaluate household items like health insurance, but the Open Enrollment period has created an even larger demand for that evaluation. We begin fielding loads of health insurance questions during this time period and most of them center around a common theme. How much does health insurance cost per month in Texas? It doesn't matter if you are self-employed, own a business, or work for a business the costs have escalated to crazy levels. We do have answers, but your age, location, and health can make a huge difference
How Much Does Health Insurance Cost Per Month In Texas?
We cannot give you an exact cost per month without some personal information. However, we can talk about what is going on in the United States and Texas in general so that you can begin to narrow your search. In a recent study that was published by Bloomberg, it is documented that average cost for family health coverage in the US now tops $20,000 per year. That comes out to $1,667 per month for a family. That's crazy! You are basically buying a small car each year with the health insurance premiums that the average family is paying.
But that $20,000 number doesn't tell the whole story. Most families are receiving health insurance through their employer. As a result, the worker's average cost out of their paycheck is $500 per month which doesn't sound that bad. However, if you factor in other things like deductibles, co-pays, and other out of pocket expenses that come with actually using your insurance that $6,000 per year can turn into a lot more very quickly as those expenses have escalated over the last decade. Especially deductibles for major events.
While we do help employers find coverage, most of the Texans that we help find health insurance are self-employed, own small businesses, or work for a small business that doesn't provide health insurance. How does this number stack up for them? If you do not qualify for subsidies under the affordable care act, you are likely looking for ways to save money on your health insurance to get that $1,667 down to a more manageable level.
What Are My Health Insurance Options?
- Affordable Care Act - The health insurance policies sold on the Exchange have differing levels of coverage. They plans with significantly higher deductibles can be a bit more cost effective lowering your monthly costs by as much as 20%. However, those deductibles can become punishing if you are hospitalized and are suddenly having to cough up $8,000 plus co-insurance.
- Short Term Medical Plans - These health insurance plans have become an attractive option for many Texans over the last 18 months. These plans have the ability to exclude some of the required components of health insurance plans sold on the Exchange. As a result, the cost savings can be substantial for families that are not dealing with pre-existing conditions that would exclude them from clearing underwriting. Just know that maternity benefits are often excluded on these plans, if you are of that age and mindset.
- Major Medical Plan - Health insurance that parallels the Affordable Care Act requirements can be obtained in the individual market place. These plans are often sold through association benefits and can therefore access group like pricing found with employers. As a result, they can offer great coverage at a better price without giving up either benefits or lower deductibles. That makes these plans very attractive to families though they can be hard to find unless you have a great trade group association.
- Health Share Plan - While this isn't traditional health insurance, or insurance at all really, this is an option that has come into the spotlight over the last five years. Health Share plans have been around for more than two decades, but they became an alternative that was exempted from the tax mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act. These plans typically do not cover wellness type benefits and often require a signed statement of faith. They also require you to pay cash for services and then submit for reimbursement, which can make them unattractive for those on a very tight budget. However, the cost savings are substantial because of the way that they operate.
- Catastrophic Health Insurance - If you are a family that does not use doctors or the health system much at all, you have likely asked why am I paying for all of these benefits that I don't use. It's a great question. Catastrophic health insurance allows you to dramatically lower the costs of monthly premiums by as much as 50% or more. The policy only provides coverage for you when major events happen. Think strokes, heart attacks, cancer, or major accidents requiring hospitalization. These health insurance policies do not care who you use for a primary care physician or if you go at all. Since they are not providing all of these low level services or processing claims for them, they pass the cost savings on to you. Using this type of coverage paired with a Direct Primary Care doctor can give you a GREAT experience rather than the run-around that we have all become accustomed to.
How Do I Find Exact Pricing For Health Insurance?
The great news is that you have options, and there are now many independent health insurance agents selling these policies in Texas. Insurance For Texans, as an independent insurance agent, can help you evaluate the pros and cons of each of these options. With some quick information, we can get preliminary pricing so that you can quickly evaluate if these options will work for you and how to best maximize your situation. To get exact pricing, you will need to do some underwriting. But that is one of the things that we excel at!