Apart from the options of buying individual insurance and being covered by group insurance through companies, there is also the Texas Health Insurance risk pool, initiated by the Texas Legislature. This health insurance coverage is provided to people who cannot obtain adequate coverage as a result of their medial conditions.
It is also open to "federally eligible individuals" as defined by HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act1996). This program is managed by a nine-member board of directors, all of whom are appointed by the Commissioner of Insurance.
The policy issued by this Pool covers medical expenses including prescription drugs. There is a standard premium rate set by the members of the board. These rates are usually reviewed twice a year.
The state of Texas also has provision to insure the health of children. One of the programs is the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) initiated for families who don't qualify for the Medicard program, but at the same time are not in a position to buy insurance. The coverage under this plan is for children between the ages of 0 and 19 years.
The other program is the children's Medicard. This program considers children between the groups of 0 to 19 years. This program is provided at no costs and is beneficial package in that apart from covering medial bills and prescription drugs, it aims at preventive health care.
The coverage is provided to children whose families have assets below the established levels.
Both the CHIP and Medicard programs are beneficial for children. They cover a full range of services from regular check-ups, preventive care, immunization, lab tests, to hospital visits and the related expenses.
The advantages of both the programs are many. Apart from the health benefits, both these programs provide coverage at affordable rates that can well fit the budgets of all qualifying Texan families. The premium rate is flexible and is calculated based on the number of people in the family, as also the total income and expenses.
All said, both CHIP and Medicard have been designed by the Texas Legislature to give relief to families who neither qualify for Medicard nor have the ability to pay the expensive installments of private insurance.