How to Get Free Health Insurance in Texas

The cost of health insurance in Texas is on the rise. It can be difficult to find a plan that one can afford for an individual, much less a growing family. What you need to know is that there are plans available and it depends on where you live as to which free health insurance in Texas is available to you. We at CoverMile have researched a few of the major counties in Texas and found which plans offer free health care in Texas for individuals and families. If your county is not listed below, you can contact us, and we will be more than happy to help you find the best health insurance in Texas for your current situation.

What Free Health Insurance Texas Plans are Available?

Below we have selected counties surrounding major cities and provide the primary method county residents obtain free, or nearly free, healthcare. Each county has a link to the site and gives further details about the program and how to apply.

Travis County – Austin – Central

Travis County is home to 1.3 million residents of those 16.5 percent are uninsured. There is always the question of which health insurance plans are available as well as how much you will have to pay. Within Travis County, health insurance options are available through Central Health and their MAP program. MAP (Medical Access Program) assists those who qualify with:

  • Doctors Visits
  • Dental Care
  • Prescription Medications
  • Other health services

MAP eligibility is based on your family size and income being at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

Bexar County – San Antonio – South

Bexar County has over 2 million people living in the home of the Alamo. They also have an 18.9 percent uninsured rate.  Health insurance options in Bexar County include CareLink through University Health. While CareLink is not health insurance, they do offer financial assistance to those who do not have health insurance and do not qualify for other coverage.

One qualifies for CareLink if their income is at or below 200 percent of the FPL, a Bexar County resident, and they do not have or qualify for health insurance. Coverage includes:

  • Primary Care Visits
  • Urgent Care at ExpressMed Clinics
  • Emergency Services at University Hospital
  • Specialists Visits with referral
  • Diagnostic Testing
  • Outpatient Surgery
  • Prescription Medication
  • Preventive Care
  • Inpatient Hospital Care

One catch is that you must use CareLink Service Centers for your doctors and University Hospital for all other services or you will not be covered. Also, this is not medical insurance but a medical assistance program.

Harris County – Houston – East

Harris County is home to over 4.8 million residents. Nineteen percent are uninsured. Of those who are insured, nearly 60 percent obtain it through a national insurer like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. There are many, however, who cannot afford the high cost and are in search of free health insurance Texas.

Harris County Public Health (HCPH) offers no-cost or low-cost clinical and preventive health services to meet the resident’s medical needs.

HCPH has three locations that offer:

  • Health and Wellness Services
    • Physical Exams
    • Physicals
    • Immunizations
    • Family Planning
    • Medical Screening (Diabetes, HBP, STDs HIV, Cancers)

Payment is on a sliding scale: payments are determined based on household size and family income.

Dallas County – Dallas – North

The home of the Cowboys has 2.6 million residents, and 24.2 percent of the population is uninsured. While 44.1 percent of individuals receive their health insurance through an employer, many still are out there unable to afford Texas health insurance.

One way Dallas County residents can find Texas free health insurance is through Parkland Health. Parkland Financial Assistance (PFA) provides financial assistance for Dallas County residents in need of healthcare.

PFA is available to those with an income below 250 percent of the FPL. The cost will be when you visit the doctor in the form of a copay, prescriptions, and some medical procedures. Benefits include:

  • Emergency Servies
  • Women and Infant Services
  • Hospitalization
  • Specialty Care (Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancer)
  • Pharmacy Services
  • Radiology and Laboratory
  • 24-hour Nurse Line

As with other plans above, Parkland has their associated hospitals and medical facilities. Parkland Community Oriented Primary Care Clinics and UT Southwestern Medical Center are among them.

El Paso County – El Paso – West

The border town of El Paso is home to just shy of 1 million residents. Of those, 23.5 percent do not have health insurance. While many have insurance through their employer, still many more go day-to-day wondering where their healthcare will come from whether it be through the Marketplace, Medicaid, or other sources.

HealthCARE Options is a benefit plan primarily for adults in El Paso County. It targets those who do not have Medicaid, Medicare, or other Texas healthcare programs, and those at or below 100 percent poverty level. Benefits they offer include Primary Care Physical services including specialists, lab work, and x-rays.

Benefits include:

  • Primary Care
  • Radiology
  • Immunizations
  • Emergency Care
  • Laboratory Services
  • X-ray Services

Again, you must be seen in approved medical facilities. With HealthCare Options, you must have treatment at University Medical Center of El Paso unless your doctor feels you must be seen at another facility.

If you would like to know more information on additional counties that offer free health insurance Texas, contact CoverMile. We can assist you with finding plans in your area.

What Free Health Insurance Plans are Available through Medicaid?

While the above health insurance plans are county-based health insurance plans, you still have the option to find free health insurance in Texas through Medicaid. It is available to low-income individuals who are Texas residents; however, health insurance is only available for children 17 and younger and adults of those caring for children. There are also income and personal resource guidelines.

Free health insurance in Texas through Medicaid is broken down into two types, traditional Medicaid and STAR. Traditional Medicaid you can receive care from any doctor who accepts Medicaid. The second has four programs called STAR (State of Texas Access Reform) and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program).

  • STAR is for children and women who are pregnant. It can include some families if they meet certain stipulations.
  • STAR+PLUS is for adults with disabilities, those 65 and older, and women with cancer.
  • STAR Kids is designed for children with disabilities. It can also include adults 20 years old and younger.
  • CHIP is for children and unborn children for mothers who earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance.

Services that Medicaid covers are:

  • Doctor Visits
  • Hospital Services
  • X-rays and Lab Tests
  • Vision and Hearing
  • Specialist and Mental Health Care
  • Special Needs and Pre-existing Conditions

Medicaid and CHIP, in addition to only being available to children and adults of children caretakers, have strict income guidelines. These are pre-tax amounts.

Family SizeMonthly Family Income

Medicaid is free. CHIP can be either free or low-cost depending on one’s financial status. There is also an enrollment fee and copays for doctor’s visits and medications depending on income.  

Can I Get Free Texas Health Insurance Through the Marketplace?

If you are low-income, you may be able to shop for free health insurance Texas on the Marketplace. Companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and UnitedHealthcare offer zero-dollar premium plans. Here are just a few zero-dollar premium offerings from four popular health insurance companies. *

BCBS of TexasUnited HealthcareAetnaOscar Health
My Blue Health Silver – 807UHC Gold StandardGold S: Aetna HMOOscar Gold Classic Standard
Out-of-Pocket Max$1800/$3600$8700/$17,400$8700/$17,400$8700/$17,400
Primary Care Visit$0 copay$30 copay$30 copay$30 copay
Specialist Visit$10 copay$60 copay$60 copay$60 copay
Emergency Room25% coinsurance25% coinsurance25% coinsurance25% coinsurance
Urgent Care$5 copay$45 copay$75 copay$45 copay
Inpatient Hospital25% coinsurance25% coinsurance45% coinsurance25% coinsurance
Outpatient Hospital25% coinsurance25% coinsurance25% coinsurance25% coinsurance
Prescription (Pharmacy)$0/$15/$50/ $150$15/30%/$60/ $250$15/$30/$60/ $250$15/$30/$60/ $250
Children’s Vision/DentalYes/NoYes/YesYes/NoYes/No

*Rates are for a family of four: M44 F43 two kids 16 and 12 with an income of 44K.

Other free Texas health insurance options are available. Including plans with minimal premium costs that qualify for premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. You can contact CoverMile to see which plans and what other insurance companies offer free health insurance in Texas.

Free Health Insurance in Texas for Your Family

If you have questions about your health insurance options, you can contact an insurance specialist at CoverMile. We would be happy to help you find a low-cost or free health insurance plan to fit you and your family’s needs. Contact us today!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is health insurance free in Texas?

    There are multiple ways to get free health insurance in Texas. Most are due to your income. You can apply for assistance through Medicaid, apply for Affordable Care Act insurance through the Marketplace and qualify for premium tax credits, or find health care through a county program.

  2. Does Oscar Health have free health insurance in Texas?

    Yes. Oscar Health Insurance offers many plans that are free to Texans. You can apply through the Affordable Care Act website or contact one of our agents at CoverMile and we can assist you with finding the best plan that will fit your needs.

  3. Is Medicaid the same as Affordable Care Act health insurance in Texas?

    The Affordable Care Act is health insurance that is available to everyone and there are few restrictions. Like if you are offered insurance through an employer, you may be restricted from receiving ACA insurance. With Medicaid, you must meet income, and either be pregnant or responsible for a child 18 and younger. You can also have a disability or be responsible for one with a disability to receive Medicaid. Both health insurance will provide general health care, doctors’ visits, prescriptions, and emergency care.

  4. Do all insurance companies offer free health insurance Texas?

    With ACA subsidies and cost-sharing reductions, you can find free health insurance in Texas through most insurance companies. It would depend on the plan metal you select, the deductible you choose, and if you elect to include dental and vision if the company offers it.

  5. How do I get health insurance in Texas with no income?

    Texans with little or no income can apply for health coverage through local county agencies, Medicaid, or the Marketplace. Based on the money you do have coming in you can qualify for premium tax credits as well as cost savings reductions through the Marketplace and applying for a Silver metal plan.