Well another season of Texas health insurance open enrollment is upon us and some things have changed a great deal. This article will discuss what has changed, what has stayed the same and why I continue to receive emails with lovely topics.

First and foremost, please note that it is not my fault that you hate your current Texas health insurance plan. My therapist keeps telling me it’s “not my fault”, but sometimes I think he forgets we are talking about my Houston health insurance agency and not a bad childhood. I didn’t create it and I don’t have the ability to change the benefits and/or pricing. I can simply place you with the policy that best fits your needs and best fits what the government forces us to purchase within the available options.

What is staying the same: The main item is that if you need an individual or Texas family health plan, you are basically stuck with an HMO again for the 2018 season.  Don’t bother looking, you won’t find any ACA compliant PPO health insurance plans in the individual/family market. Unless you are able to form a small group health insurance plan for your business, which we’re more than happy to facilitate, you’re stuck with the same crappy HMO networks. Obviously, this means you’ll have a limited network of doctors and/or hospitals to choose from and may have difficulty finding the family doctor you’ve been using since you were a little tike.

What is changing: The biggest change is that you are now expected to make a decision on your Texas or Houston based healthcare plan with a 45 day period. That’s right fight fans! Open enrollment is now only for 45 days beginning on November 1st 2017 and ending on December 15th, 2017.

There is one bright spot, sort of. This year, in the Greater Houston area, we are adding a new insurance carrier and getting rid of another.  amBetter by Superior Health is entering the Houston health insurance market, but Memorial Hermann is exiting the individual health insurance business. amBetter is generally one of the least expensive choices in Texas while Memorial Hermann has been the most expensive choice over the last 2 years. That’s about the only bright spot I can think of for 2018 with regard to both Marketplace and non-Marketplace policies in Texas.

Now before you send me another email titled “My plan sucks” or “This is more than my mortgage payment”, please remember a few things. The government will still fine you 2.5% of your household AGI if you don’t buy an ACA compliant plan, so that’s good news. I wish they would fine you 2.5% if you didn’t adopt a shelter puppy or fine you 2.5% if you say something mean to your lovely Wife, but we can’t have everything.

Once again, if you are still one of the ones who have not yet formed a small group policy for your business, now if the time. There is no open enrollment period with group health insurance policies and the premiums are 100% tax deductible through your business. If you don’t have an entity already set up, pleas reach out to us at 866.270.6209 or just google “small group health insurance Texas”, choose on the link for www.selectedbenefits.com  and we’ll start the ball rolling.