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Closure Of Texas High-Risk Insurance Pool Postponed


The Texas Department of Insurance decided Friday to postpone the closure of the high-risk health insurance pool, according to the Texas Tribune. That pool serves 23,000 Texans who have trouble finding health insurance due to pre-existing health conditions, like cancer or diabetes.

The pool was scheduled to shut down on Jan. 1, since everyone — including people with pre-existing conditions — was supposed to be able to buy insurance on the federal marketplace. Due to the difficulties with enrollment online, Texas Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber said it will stay open until March 31st.

KERA News profiled one North Texas family that successfully made the switch from the high-risk pool in October to the marketplace — they’re saving more than $2,000 each month.

Lauren Silverman was the Health, Science & Technology reporter/blogger at KERA News. She was also the primary backup host for KERA’s Think and the statewide newsmagazine  Texas Standard. In 2016, Lauren was recognized as Texas Health Journalist of the Year by the Texas Medical Association. She was part of the Peabody Award-winning team that covered Ebola for NPR in 2014. She also hosted "Surviving Ebola," a special that won Best Long Documentary honors from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). And she's won a number of regional awards, including an honorable mention for Edward R. Murrow award (for her project “The Broken Hip”), as well as the Texas Veterans Commission’s Excellence in Media Awards in the radio category.