Central Health caps funding for Sendero Health Plans affecting about 24,000 Texans

About 24,000 Texans will have to change their health insurance plan if a locally funded plan through Obamacare gets shut down. 

Their coverage will remain in effect through 2018. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to select a new insurance company/plan during the ACA Open Enrollment Period, which runs from Nov. 1 – Dec. 15.

Last week, the Central Health board of managers voted to cap funding for Sendero Health Plans.

Central Health said this is due to changing factors in the Affordable Care Act Risk Adjustment program.

The program is designed to compensate insurers in the marketplace whose members are sicker and require more services. Since 2012, Sendero has delivered more than $470-million dollars in health coverage to 135-million people in Travis County.

Three years ago Guillen had a heart attack and turned to the marketplace for help. She found Sendero Health Plans and over the years she said the organization has helped her find the right doctors, provided her with the attention and care she needed.

"Worried, because I don't know what I'm going to do to find another insurance," said Guillen."It made me feel like, like it was an insurance for me.

Central Health Board Chair Dr. Guadalupe Zamora opposed the decision.

"We've analyzed the numbers and had long, sometimes emotional conversations about Sendero's future. In the end, I support those who voted to wind down the company and I know all of you are hurting in your hearts as we make this very difficult decision," Zamora said.

The organization will present its decision to end Sendero to Travis County Commissioners Tuesday.

Guillen's last hope is that commissioners will vote instead to keep the program.

Sendero members will have health coverage until the end of the year. The decision is not final until the Travis County Commissioner's Court votes to accept or reject the Central Health budget.