Travis County Central Health votes to fund Sendero health plans

Move reverses September 12 action to cap funds

September 23, 2018 - 9:28 am

AUSTIN (KJCE) -- Central Health board members voted Saturday to restore funding for Sendero Health Plans, keeping it in operation for at least another year.

The move reverses an earlier September vote to remove $26 million in fiscal year 2019 funding from the non-profit, which provides publicly funded, low-cost health insurance to some 24,000 people through the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

The restored funding comes with some stipulations. Conditions include strict, routine reporting with explicit outcome measures and objectives reported monthly to Central Health, and capping future Central Health financial risk to only include premium assistance for Sendero.

Some of the money will come from Central Health’s contingency reserves, and will not be spent until Central Health’s CEO has presented a viable strategy for expanding Central Health’s Premium Assistance Program to move members of Central Health's Medical Access Program to Sendero, in an effort to leverage more money from the federal government through the ACA's Risk Adjustment Program.

Open enrollment in the ACA marketplace exchange opens November 1, and runs through December 15.

Central Health has invested $108 million in Sendero since 2011, and the HMO has delivered more than $470 million in health coverage to 135,000 people.

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