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How to Choose a Medicaid Plan for Your Family

You applied for Texas Medicaid. Your application was approved.

And that’s great news. You are one step closer to better health for yourself and your family.

But there are a few more steps you need to take. We’ve listed them here to help you get started right away.

Check your mailbox. Texas Health and Human Services will send a packet of information to you.

Inside the packet, you’ll find out:

  • if you are assigned to:
    • Medicaid STAR (State of Texas Access Reform), which provides health care insurance at no cost for low-income families.
      At Parkland Community Health Plan, we offer a Medicaid STAR health plan called Parkland HEALTHfirst
    • CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), for children 0-18 years in families with certain income ranges
    • CHIP Perinate, which helps pregnant women and their unborn children get the health care they need
      Parkland KIDSfirst CHIP and Parkland KIDSfirst CHIP Perinate are the programs we offer.
  • the date you can start using your STAR, CHIP or CHIP Perinate insurance
  • the health plans that serve your community

There are several different health plans for families with STAR, CHIP or CHIP Perinate insurance.

Look inside the packet from Texas HHS. You will see information about the health plans that serve your community.

Do you live in Dallas, Collin, Ellis, Hunt, Kaufman, Navarro or Rockwall county? If so, you will find Parkland Community Health Plan on the list.

You will need to choose one health plan. Don’t delay—if you do not choose a plan, Texas Health and Human Services will choose one for you.

What makes the health plans different?

  • The doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other providers in the plans
  • The quality rating on their score cards
  • The “extras” they offer—value-added services and rewards

Compare the doctors and other providers on the health plans

If you already have a doctor or pediatrician, are they in the plan?

Are the doctors, hospitals and clinics close to your home?

Does the plan offer a 24-hour nurse line to answer your health questions over the phone?

If you want a Spanish-speaking doctor, does the health plan list any?

Parkland Community Health Plan has more than 9,000 doctors and specialists in their network. Our physicians earn very high ratings from members in our Star and CHIP programs.


The Texas HHS website includes reviews, also known as “score cards,” for all health plans in Texas. These reviews a wide range of items that are important to people who need care for themselves and their children.

You can learn more and see the score cards online.

The Medicaid STAR Adult Report Card shows scores for 10 different areas.

Parkland Community Health Plan rates especially high in the overall “Experience of Care” category. We are the only health plan to have a rating for “Doctors listen carefully, explain clearly and spend enough time with people.”

We also scored high for “New mothers get checkups after giving birth.”

See the entire STAR Adult Report Card here.

The CHIP Report Card measures healthcare services for infants, children, teens and pregnant women.

See the entire CHIP Report Card here.

Parkland Community Health Plan is the only health plan to earn five out of five stars in “Overall Health Plan Quality,” “Parents give high ratings to their child’s personal doctor” and “Children see the doctor for ADHD.”

All health plans that provide STAR, CHIP or CHIP Perinate insurance offer traditional Medicaid health care services.

These include:

  • doctor and clinic visits
  • eye checkups, glasses and contact lenses
  • shots for children age 20 and younger
  • mental health services

However, some health plans offer a long list of extra benefits. These are called “value-added services” and paid rewards.

When you are comparing health plans in your information packet, be sure to take a close look at these extra benefits.

  • Free cell phone for enrollees in the Federal Lifeline Program, including unlimited calls to Parkland Community Health Plan Member Services and free health education text messages.*
  • Free pregnancy classes
  • Sports physicals for children ages 5-19.
  • Adult dental care, up to $300 per year.*
  • And more…

*For Medicaid STAR members only.

When you make healthy choices, you can earn valuable points with Parkland health plans. You can spend reward points on gift cards, baby supplies, sports equipment and more.

Earn points for completing activities like:

  • Registering on the Parkland member portal
  • Taking your baby and teen for checkups
  • Getting a flu shot
  • Managing ADHD and asthma
  • And more…

Remember, if you do not choose a health plan from the list in your packet, the state of Texas will choose one for you.

We hope you will use the information here—and the links we provided—to choose the health plan that’s right for your family.