18K people will have to switch insurance as Sendero leaves market

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About 18,000 people will have to find a new health insurance after Sendero Health Plans announced Friday it would leave the STAR Medicaid and CHIP insurance market. This means those living in Travis County will have three plans to choose among from now on.

Sendero said the reason it is pulling out of the market is that it would lose $800,000 a month based on the 2018 premium payment rates set by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Those premiums would not cover the projected cost of care for members, and Sendero said that would have meant cutting the rates it pays to local providers or continuing to lose money.

Sendero will withdraw May 1, and plans to send letters to its members as well as health care providers this week. 

“Sendero will work with the State of Texas to ensure members are taken care of and that their health coverage does not lapse,” Central Health President and CEO Mike Geeslin said.

Current members will have until April 13 to pick a new plan from BlueCross-BlueShield, Dell Children’s Health Plan or Superior. If they don’t choose one before then, they will be assigned to a new plan. They can call the STAR CHIP enrollment broker at 800-964-2777 to talk about health plan options or Sendero at 844-872-0537 to discuss their current coverage and services.

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