After years of financial instability for its nonprofit health insurance provider, Travis County’s health care district is shutting down Sendero Health Plans in the next two years, potentially forcing its 24,000 members to find new health coverage plans.
Central Health board members voted 4-3 Wednesday night to allocate $24 million to the nonprofit in fiscal 2019 and start plans to suspend it. Board Chair Dr. Guadalupe Zamora and board members Cynthia Valadez and Julie Oliver voted against the proposal. Sendero’s board chair, Dr. Charles Bell, abstained, and board member Abigail Aiken was off the dais.
Prior to the vote, the board considered an analysis from a third-party actuarial firm during executive session. Central Health did not immediately release the report, which the American-Statesman has requested under the Texas Public Information Act.
Central Health created Sendero in 2011 with the goal of expanding access to affordable health care coverage to low-income people in Travis County. Since its inception, Sendero has delivered more than $470 million in health coverage to 135,000 people and offered some of the most inexpensive plans in the county, officials said.
For Sendero members
The Affordable Care Act open enrollment period runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15. When open enrollment begins Nov. 1, Sendero’s IdealCare members should call 2-1-1 for free assistance choosing a health insurance plan for 2019. To reach Sendero with questions, call 512-978-8855.