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Texas Health Insurance Pool
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About the Pool

Table of Contents

I.   Board of Directors
II.  History of the Pool
Recent Board Meeting Minutes 
IV. Restated Plan of Operations 

Board of Directors
(prior to 9/1/2015 dissolution date)

Gary C. Cole

(Public Representative)
Richard C. Ott
(Industry Representative)
D. Gregory Barbutti

(Insured Representative)
Robert H. Emmick, Jr., M.D.
(Professional Representative)
Pati McCandless
(Industry Representative)
Maureen Milligan, Ph.D.
(Public Representative)
Vicky Paparelli, APRN
(Professional Representative)

Marinan Williams
(Industry Representative)

  • Mr. Cole, a resident of Bullard, graduated with honors in 1965 from Texas Christian University. For many years, Gary held the office of President and Director of Combined Underwriters Life Insurance Company/Lifeline Underwriters Life Insurance Company. He has served in a leadership capacity for many insurance industry organizations.
  • Mr. Ott is owner of an insurance agency in Corpus Christi. In practice since 1972, his focus is life and health insurance for individuals and groups. Rick holds the CLU and LUTCF industry designations.
  • Mr. Barbutti  resides in Austin.  He received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. Now retired from law, he is a community volunteer and healthcare advocate.
  • Dr. Emmick is a physician Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and licensed in Texas. He currently works in Cedar Park, Texas, for Scott and White. He has worked in other Texas communities in the past including: Bryan/College Station, El Paso, Houston, Caldwell, Navasota, and Madisonville.

  • Ms. McCandless is the Executive Director of Government Relations for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. Prior to that, she was Of Counsel at Greenberg Traurig LLP, for 5 years where she represented the Texas Association of Health Plans, among other clients, on legislative and regulatory issues. She also spent 10 years as an employee of UniCare, a subsidiary of WellPoint, acting as Legislative Affairs Director and Special Counsel. Pati, who resides in Austin, received her undergraduate degree from Texas A&M, followed by a law degree from New York Law School.
  • Dr. Milligan, (Ph.D.), is President and CEO of the Teaching Hospitals of Texas, a non-profit association of hospitals and health systems committed to providing access to quality health care for Texans and to training the next generation of physicians, nurses and allied health personnel. Maureen previously worked at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.  Maureen is an Austin resident.  In addition to her doctorate of Philosophy, Maureen holds degrees in Economics, Medical Humanities and Public Affairs.

  • Ms. Paparelli graduated from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio with a Masters of Science in Nursing. A longtime Texas resident after service in the Air Force, Victoria is a Clinical Nurse Specialist with Schnitzler Cardiovascular Consultants of San Antonio in Adult Cardiology Services.
  • Ms. Williams serves as Chief Operating Officer for Scott & White Health Plan, Temple, Texas, and was previously affiliated with Shannon Health in San Angelo.   Marinan, who resides in Belton, has a Master’s degree in health care administration from Texas Women’s University and she earned her undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University.  Marinan has 25 years of managed care and insurance industry experience and has also worked extensively with health care providers.
Executive Director

Steven Browning joined the Pool as Executive Director in August 1998. Steve earned his Bachelors degree from Rice University in 1980, followed by a Masters in Business Administration from U.T. Austin in 1982. Steve has primarily worked in the insurance and banking industries, including positions in marketing, claims management and accounting. Steve has served as a board member and chair of the National Association of State Comprehensive Health Plans (NASCHIP),  the national health risk pool association. In 2011, Steve received the TAHU Shirley Hutzler Excellence in Legislation award.


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History of the Pool

The Texas Health Insurance Pool was created by the Texas Legislature to provide health insurance to eligible Texas residents who, due to medical conditions, are unable to obtain coverage from individual commercial insurers.  The Pool also served as the Texas alternative mechanism for individual health insurance coverage, guaranteeing portability of coverage to qualified individuals who lost coverage under an employer group plan, church plan or state plan, as mandated by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).  

The Program served the State of Texas as an important "safety net" for individuals who had been denied health insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

Recent Board Meeting Minutes
(Click on the above to link to the Board Minutes Page)

Plan of Operations 
(Click on above link for the Restated Plan of Operations)


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