What is the Texas Bar Private Insurance Exchange?

The exchange is an online marketplace where members, and their employees, can compare and purchase products and services from insurance providers that compete for business within the exchange.

What products are available in the private exchange?

Medical insurance is the main attraction on the private exchange, however other products will be available at specially negotiated pricing, such as dental, vision, disability, accident, telemedicine, identity theft protection, and medical expense plans that do not meet the criteria of minimum essential coverage. Insurance plans are provided by leading providers.

What is different about the insurance plans in the private exchange versus the public exchange (aka Federally Facilitated Exchange or Health Insurance Marketplace)?

Most health insurance plans available on the public exchange (known as Qualified Health Plans) will also be available, at the same rates, through the private exchange. The private exchange has additional plans that will not be available through the public exchange. This is because some insurance providers have chosen to limit the number of plans they offer on the public exchange or have chosen not to participate in the public exchange altogether. Both the public and private exchange will have dental plans available. Plans available on the private exchange that will not be available on the public exchange include vision, term life, disability, AD&D, wellness, and medical expense health plans that do not meet the criteria of minimum essential coverage.

Can I be turned down for health insurance coverage in the private exchange due to a pre-existing health condition?

Beginning with new coverage effective dates of January 1, 2014, most health insurance plans can’t refuse to cover you or charge you a higher premium because of a pre-existing health condition. This will be the case regardless of whether you purchase your plan on the public or private exchange.

How do I gain access to shop for Health Insurance?

Visit the Health Insurance page on this site to begin your registration. Once completing registration, you’ll be able to begin shopping for plans. If you are currently insured for health insurance through the exchange, you should click on the “Log-in” link to first log-in to your existing account to begin shopping.

What about the subsidies I keep hearing about to help me pay for my health insurance?

As part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), beginning in October 2013, lower and middle-income people under age 65, who are not eligible for coverage through their employer, Medicaid, or Medicare, can apply for tax credit subsidies available through the public exchange.

Is the private exchange available to out of state members?

No, not at this time. Due to complexities and differences in health insurance providers and the public exchange rules in each state, the health insurance products in The Texas Bar Private Insurance Exchange are only available to residents of Texas at this time.

Can my spouse purchase a plan on the exchange if I do not?

Yes. Your spouse can register through this site and purchase a health plan on the exchange even if you do not. He or she will need to register first and will need your Bar Card# to verify their eligibility for the exchange.

My firm has a group plan, however our part-time employees are not eligible. Can they shop for coverage on the private exhchange?

Yes, employees both full-time and part-time are eligible to shop for coverage on the exchange. You’ll want to provide them with your bar card number for their use when verifying their eligibility.