Find Group Coverage through Your Employer
Many employers offer group health coverage for employees and their families as part of an employee benefits package. Employers aren't required to contribute toward plan premiums, but many do.
If you are eligible for an employer-sponsored health plan, your employer must give you at least 31 days from your start date to enroll in the plan. If you choose not to enroll right away, you may be required to wait up to one year for the next open enrollment period to join. The plan must offer a 31-day open enrollment period annually.
After you enroll in a health plan, your employer may have a waiting period of up to 90 days before you are eligible to use your benefits. However, you can't be charged a premium during this period.
If you're recently unemployed and you participated in your employer's health plan, you may have the right to continue coverage for yourself and your family under the federal law called COBRA and certain Texas statutes.
Read Your Health Care Coverage for more information about group plans and COBRA.
If you don't like your employer-sponsored health plan, you aren't required to enroll. You could purchase individual coverage through an insurance company, a licensed agent, or the federal health insurance Marketplace (Healthcare.gov). However, since you have access to group coverage, this may disqualify you for a subsidy on the federal Marketplace, unless the plan doesn't meet minimum federal standards or your share of the premium for self-only coverage is more than 9.5 percent of your income. If you choose to go without any coverage, you may owe a tax penalty under federal law.
Learn more about federal requirements.
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Last updated: 10/12/2015