P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2007
AUSTIN -- The Texas Senate today approved SB 23 by State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, establishing TexLink, a new office within the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) to help connect more Texans with private health insurance.
"This office will serve as a clearinghouse of information about the health care options available in Texas communities, and it will actively seek to educate Texans about the types of coverage available," Senator Nelson said. "There is a real lack of awareness, especially among our small businesses, about the opportunity to pool with other businesses to leverage affordable health care. We can also do a better job of educating Texans about innovations in individual health plans and community collaboratives such as 3-share models."
SB 23 establishes TexLink within TDI and directs it to do the following:
- Help link consumers with information about how to purchase health coverage;
- Educate the public about the importance of health coverage;
- Develop a toll-free health insurance information hotline that will also be provided to interested 2-1-1 callers (such as persons deemed ineligible for Medicaid or CHIP);
- Create children-only benefit plans for employers to offer families who cannot afford full-family coverage, but want to cover their children;
- Create an optional certification process for agents who sell health insurance to small employers; and
- Post a list of certified agents on the TDI website to allow small business owners to locate local agents who can help them find coverage.