Getting Health Insurance While Unemployed in Texas


Many families and individuals alike receive health insurance through an employer. If the insured becomes unemployed, losing all health insurance benefits may be devastating for a family, especially a growing one. Luckily, it is possible to receive health insurance benefits even when unemployed.

Applying for health insurance while unemployed doesn’t mean that you don’t have options. People who are unemployed can apply for health insurance in Texas through the Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Health Insurance Through the Health Insurance Marketplace

Unemployed or not, any American can apply for health insurance through the Marketplace. The Marketplace will recommend a health insurance plan that is best suited for you and your family according to your income, family size, and needs.

Because the Marketplace suggests health insurance based on income, your premium, copayments, and deductibles may be very low. If you or a family member lost their job and health benefits, consider applying for a Special Enrollment Period. The Special Enrollment Period is meant for individuals who have lost their health insurance through their job and allows the petitioner to apply for health insurance during any time of the year. You have 60 days after losing benefits to take advantage of the Special Enrollment Period.

Health Insurance Through Medicaid

The Medicaid program was created to help families and individuals who need additional assistance, meaning that it was created with households under a certain income level in mind. More specifically, Medicaid is meant for low-income households, individuals with disabilities, pregnant women, and families with small children.

You can apply for Medicaid through the Marketplace or through the Medicaid agency in your state. When you apply through the Marketplace, you will be told if you or anyone in your household is eligible through Medicaid after entering your income information. If you decide you are interested in the Medicaid program, your information will be sent to your state Medicaid agency.

If your income is too high for Medicaid, you can still apply for health insurance through the Marketplace. You may still be qualified for low out-of-pocket costs through the Marketplace.

Health Insurance Through CHIP

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is reserved for children whose families are uninsured. If your child is eligible for health coverage under CHIP, they can receive benefits at a low cost even if you do not have health insurance.

Because CHIP is affiliated with Medicaid, it can grant coverage to children in families who are over the income bracket to receive Medicaid. This way, even if you are unable to receive health insurance, your children will be covered. In special cases, pregnant women may also be eligible to collect health insurance benefits through CHIP.

When you apply for Medicaid, you will automatically find out if your children are eligible for CHIP. Eligibility for CHIP can also be assessed when you apply for health insurance through the Marketplace. You can apply for CHIP on behalf of your children at any time during the year.

CHIP covers a wide variety of preventative health procedures, including:

  • Annual check-ups
  • Laboratory services
  • Dental and Vision services
  • Hospital care, including emergency care
  • Immunization
  • Prescriptions

Procedures that are not preventative may require a copayment.