October 1, 2013
Central Health is pleased to announce that Sendero Health Plans has been declared a Qualified Health Plan under the new Affordable Care Act. Sendero, Central Health’s affiliated, local, non-profit health management organization, is now eligible to provide its Idealcare health plan in the new Health Insurance Marketplace. With this designation, Sendero will be able to provide insurance coverage as a part of the new Health Insurance Marketplace.
“This news clearly demonstrates that Sendero is doing exactly what we hoped it would when we voted to create the organization almost three years ago. As the only non-profit, local HMO in Travis County, the Central Health Board of Managers is proud of what Sendero has accomplished in such a short time frame. This is truly great news for Central Texas,” Central Health Board of Managers member Dr. Tom Coopwood said.
Sendero Health Plans benefits Central Texans who are currently enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. Participation in the Marketplace will allow Sendero to offer competitively priced insurance coverage to currently uninsured residents, many of whom are living between 100-200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Many residents living in this income range are eligible for coverage under Medicaid or CHIP, although other members of their family do not qualify and end up uninsured. Sendero will target populations consistent with those Central Health serves to help bring the entire family under consistent coverage. This will allow all family members to seek care within the same networks, with the same doctors, and with the levels of care.
Sendero is also a benefit to all Travis County taxpayers by reducing the number of individuals without access to health care, who in turn rely on more expensive, less efficient services for routine care. Those who have insurance are likely to seek care more often and in more appropriate settings, such as primary care clinics, instead of seeking care in those high cost emergency department settings.
For residents without insurance, our local tax dollars cover their care, particularly in the instance of emergency care. Bringing more resident into insured status reduces the cost to taxpayers by decreasing the use of high cost emergency services and by providing the hospital payment for services from the insurer rather than the taxpayer.
Central Health created Sendero in early 2011to better manage and coordinate the health care needs of the populations we serve. The creation of Sendero was also driven by the foresight of the Central Health Board of Managers, who recognized that certain provisions within the Affordable Care Act would allow expansion of access to care for the traditionally underserved populations in Travis County.
Now, more than ever, Sendero Health Plans is providing affordable, effective health plans to Travis County residents.