The health insurance market in Texas is always evolving, and 2021 is no exception. Several changes are expected to take place in the coming year, with a focus on improving healthcare access, cost reduction, and better benefits for policyholders. Here’s an overview of what to expect in the health insurance landscape in Texas in 2021.
One of the most significant changes to health insurance in Texas in 2021 is expected to be lower premiums. The Texas Department of Insurance has announced that average rates for Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans will decrease by 4.1% in 2021, following a 1% decrease in 2020. This means that Texans who purchase their insurance through the ACA marketplace will be paying less in premiums in 2021.
In addition, some insurers outside of the ACA marketplace are also offering lower premiums to attract more customers. For instance, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas recently announced its decision to lower premiums for individual and family plans by an average of 5.9%. This move is expected to make health insurance more affordable for Texans who cannot access coverage through their employers.
Expanded telehealth services
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for the rapid expansion of telehealth services in Texas. Telehealth, which involves delivering healthcare services remotely via video or phone, has become the preferred mode of care delivery during the pandemic, as it reduces the risk of exposure to the virus.
In 2021, many health insurance plans are expected to continue providing telehealth services to their policyholders even after the pandemic recedes. This means that Texans will have more access to virtual visits with their doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers in the coming year.
Better mental health coverage
Mental health has long been a neglected aspect of healthcare in Texas. However, this is changing in 2021, with the state implementing new rules that require insurance companies to strengthen their mental health coverage. The new rules, which come into effect on January 1, 2021, mandate insurers to cover mental health and substance abuse disorders on par with physical illnesses.
Under the new rules, insurance companies are also required to provide better transparency on their mental health coverage, making it easier for Texans to understand their benefits and access the care they need. These changes are expected to make mental health care more accessible and affordable for Texans in the coming year.
In conclusion, health insurance in Texas is changing in several ways in 2021. Lower premiums, expanded telehealth services, and better mental health coverage are some of the key changes that Texans can expect in the coming year. These changes are aimed at improving health outcomes and increasing access to care for all Texans, and are therefore positive developments for the state’s healthcare landscape.