Austin city leaders encourage sign-ups for health insurance

Being a musician was something Lesly Reynaga always wanted to do.

“I got engaged in the community through high school opportunities to play in a mariachi ensemble. Then eventually was a student here at UT Austin and joined the mariachi ensemble there,” she said.

As an Austin musician, she feels it's important to stay in good health and keep her voice in tip-top form. It dawned on her when she realized she didn't have a plan if she got sick.

“I would get worried about, at least having annual checkups so I can make sure everything is ok,” said Reynaga.

She utilized the help of Foundation Communities and the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, to get signed up immediately.

“Even from a cold to a flu, those things are important you get them taken care of so it doesn't develop into anything worse,” she said.

She was one of many Austin musicians without healthcare. That is something city leaders Mayor Steve Adler, council member Greg Casar and U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) want to change.

“Most of them…but for the good work of HAAM and Foundation Communities, they wouldn't have any coverage in the event of an illness or an accident. Most of the musicians are really small business people,” said Doggett.

They are pushing for not only musicians but anyone in Central Texas who needs health insurance to utilize the Affordable Care Act's marketplace

“The Affordable Care Act does remain the law of the land despite everything that they've done in Congress and in the courts,” said Doggett.

“Having a community that is insured, is not only important for the families that are involved but for our community generally. It helps keep our entire city healthier and safer,” said Adler.

Open enrollment runs until Dec. 15. For help, contact Foundation Communities at 737-717-4000.