Sendero Health Plans waives all costs for coronavirus testing and treatment for members

Sendero Health Plans announced a new measure April 1 to help its members receive tests and treatment for coronavirus. (Courtesy Adobe Stock Photos)
Sendero Health Plans announced a new measure April 1 to help its members receive tests and treatment for coronavirus. (Courtesy Adobe Stock Photos)

Sendero Health Plans announced a new measure April 1 to help its members receive tests and treatment for coronavirus. (Courtesy Adobe Stock Photos)

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Travis and Williamson counties continue to climb, Sendero Health Plans announced a new measure to help its members receive tests and treatment for coronavirus.

Sendero announced April 1 it is waiving all fees associated with treatment of coronavirus with in-network providers for its members. This includes copays, deductibles and cost sharing.

“Cost-sharing is a factor in people's decisions to seek care, even when it shouldn't be. This pandemic is definitely one of those times when cost shouldn’t be a concern for people,” Sendero President and CEO Wesley Durkalski said.

Sendero, Central Health’s nonprofit health care plan, is now the first Affordable Care Act plan in the Austin area to waive cost-sharing for coronavirus treatment, according to an April 1 news release from the nonprofit.

Durkalski said the costs now covered by the nonprofit insurer cover treatment fees “across the board,” including testing and treatment. If a Sendero member tests positive for coronavirus and requires treatment at an emergency room or an intensive care unit, the nonprofit will foot the bill.


“Cost should not be a factor in getting those services to you,” Durkalski said.

According to the April 1 news release, Sendero in early March conducted outreach to more than 10% of its enrolled members most at risk of being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, including approximately 540 high-risk patients Sendero absorbed from Central Health’s Medical Access Program.

Since early March, Sendero has provided free prescription delivery through pharmacies, allowed early refills for some medications, extended claim submission deadlines and expanded telemedicine access in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, according to Sendero’s April 1 news release.

“[Coronavirus] is more of a risk to the older and chronically ill, and we do have a substantial portion of those members from the program with Central Health,” Durkalski said. “The most important thing to us is making sure the people in the community get the appropriate care they need.”
By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.