RICHARDSON, Texas — As the Center for Disease Control monitors the rise in influenza, RSV and COVID-19 cases this winter, open enrollment is a time to protect your health. Now, even more Texans qualify for low-cost and $0 health care plans in 2023 with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX).
The first of two deadlines during the exchange open enrollment period is this Thursday. To be eligible for coverage that begins Jan. 1, 2023, you must enroll by Dec. 15, 2022. No proof of a qualifying life event is required to buy a health plan during the open enrollment period. The Open Enrollment period will continue through Jan. 15, 2023, for coverage that begins Feb. 1.
“As we see hospitals emergency rooms full of patients with the flu, RSV and COVID-19, it’s an important reminder that having access to affordable, quality health care coverage provides security and peace of mind,” said Dr. Mark Chassay, chief medical officer for BCBSTX. “Deciding what health plan is right for you and your family can be a confusing and daunting process even for a health care professional like me. So, it’s always best to start with research to understand what resources are available to help you decide what coverage options are available.”
In Texas, the Department of Health and Human Services estimates 370,000 additional Texans may be eligible for subsidies because of the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) extension of American Rescue Plan tax credits.
For 2023, BCBSTX is expanding the MyBlue HMOSM Plan, a high-performance, lower-cost option, into six additional counties. Now, MyBlue HMOSM members in Bexar, Cameron, Collin, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Harris, Hidalgo, Tarrant, Travis and Williamson counties will have a $0 copay for all scheduled primary care and telehealth visits at select providers. This includes a robust network of providers and pharmacies, including convenient VillageMD/Walgreens locations, as well as two urgent care visits at no cost.
BCBSTX has multiple tools to help navigate the enrollment process, including open enrollment tips in English and Spanish, as well as virtual and in-person seminars with BCBSTX Think Blue representatives so Texans can know what health plans are right for them and their families.
Other resources include:
“The costs of health care are top of mind for anyone who is looking for coverage for themselves or their families,” said Denyse Maxey, senior manager of BCBSTX market delivery. “Fortunately, many Texans may qualify for subsidies that will make getting health care coverage more affordable. And, as always, BCBSTX is offering individual and family plans in all 254 counties. These plans can be accessed through a robust network of providers and facilities.”
The passage of the IRA this year means more people will again qualify for subsidies to help pay for their health insurance. Partly as a result of the IRA, four in five customers will be able to find health care coverage for $10 or less per month for 2023 after subsidies, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Additionally for 2023, according to the Biden Administration, it’s estimated that up to 1 million people will become newly eligible for tax credits to help pay for their Affordable Care Act plans due to a new rule addressing the “Family Glitch” — which means families, who previously found employer-sponsored health insurance unaffordable, now may have new opportunities for reduced costs.
After enrolling for coverage, either by Dec. 15 or Jan. 15, the next step is to identify a primary care physician to help navigate your health journey.
“Primary care physicians (PCP) are key to optimal health. So, after selecting a health plan, make sure to identify a PCP to help maintain optimal health for you and your family,” Chassay said.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) — the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas — is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 80,000 physicians and health care practitioners, and 500 hospitals to serve more than 6 million members in all 254 counties. BCBSTX is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) (which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico). Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.