HHS Announces Significant Choice And Lower Than Expected Premiums In New Health Insurance Marketplace In Tennessee

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A new report released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finds that in Tennessee, consumers will see increased competition in the Health Insurance Marketplace, leading to new and affordable choices for consumers.  

According to the report, Tennessee consumers will be able to choose from an average of 59 health plans in the Marketplace.  Nationally, the vast majority of consumers will have a choice of at least two different health insurance companies - usually more.  Premiums nationwide will also be around 16 percent lower than originally expected – with about 95 percent of eligible uninsured live in states with lower than expected premiums – before taking into account financial assistance. 

“We are excited to see that rates in the Tennessee Marketplace are even lower than originally projected,” said Secretary Sebelius.  “In the past, consumers were too often denied or priced-out of quality health insurance options, but thanks to the Affordable Care Act consumers will be able to choose from a number of new coverage options at a price that is affordable.”

In less than a week, the new Marketplace will be open for business where millions of Americans will be able to shop for and purchase health insurance coverage in one place.  Consumers will be able to find out whether they qualify for premium assistance and compare plans side-by-side based on pricing, quality and benefits.  No one can be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition.  Oct. 1 marks the beginning of a six-month long open enrollment period that runs through March 2014.  Coverage begins as early as Jan. 1, or in as little as 100 days from today.

Wednesday’s report finds that individuals in Tennessee will have an average of 59 qualified health plan choices.  Plans in the Marketplace will be categorized as either “gold,” “silver,” or “bronze.”  Young adults will also have the option of purchasing a “catastrophic” plan, increasing their number of choices.  

In Tennessee, the average premium for the lowest-cost silver plan will be $235 and for the lowest cost bronze plan it will be $181. The average premium nationally for the second lowest cost silver plan will be $328 before tax credits, or 16 percent below projections based off of Congressional Budget Office estimates.  About 95 percent of uninsured people eligible for the Marketplace live in a state where their average premium is lower than projections.   And states with the lowest premiums have more than twice the number of insurance companies offering plans than states with the highest premiums.

Premium and plan options are broken down by state where information is available. For example, the report shows that a 27-year old living in Tennessee who makes $25,000 per year will pay $103 per month for the lowest cost bronze plan and $145 per month for the second lowest cost silver plan, taking into account tax credits.  For a family of four in Tennessee with an income of $50,000 per year, the lowest bronze plan would cost only $128 per month.

In Nashville, a 27-year old who makes $25,000 per year will pay $104 per month for the lowest cost bronze plan and $145 per month for the second lowest cost silver plan, taking into account tax credits.  For a family of four in Nashville, with an income of $50,000 per year, the lowest bronze plan would cost only $135 per month.  And Nashville consumers will be able to choose from among 72 qualified health plans.  

The majority (around six out of 10) of the individuals who are uninsured today will be able to find coverage for $100 or less per month in the Marketplace taking into account premium tax credits and Medicaid coverage.

Consumers can get help finding Marketplace coverage through a number of different resources.  They can get more information through HealthCare.gov, or cuidadodesalud.gov.   They can participate in an online web chat, or call 800 318-2596 toll free (TTY: 855 889-4325) to speak with a trained customer service representative with translation services available in 150 languages.  There will also be people in local communities who can provide in-person help with coverage choices.  Those will include Navigators and other assisters, community health centers across the country, local libraries, and hundreds of Champions for Coverage that have signed up to help consumers learn about their options.


Dr. Benjamin Miller Joins Parkridge Health System

Orthopaedist Benjamin Miller, M.D., has joined the medical staff of Parkridge Health System.  Dr. Miller earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Freed-Hardeman University and a Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham. He completed a residency in Orthopaedics at the University of Arkansas and a Sports Medicine fellowship ... (click for more)

Erlanger Offers Classes And Events For September 1-14

Erlanger offers online childbirth education class.  The online class is an easy-to-understand interactive program that includes more than 70 videos, animated illustrations, downloadable PDF files, review quizzes and information specific to Erlanger East and Erlanger Baroness birthing services.  By choosing the online childbirth program, participants will have access to ... (click for more)

Jury Finds In Favor Of Texas Sheriff In Suit Brought By Chattanooga Photographer

A Federal Court jury on Friday found in favor of a Texas sheriff and his chief deputy who had been sued by a Chattanooga photographer. The jury in the courtroom of Judge Curtis Collier awarded no damages to Donna Johnson. In his closing argument after a two-week civil trial, attorney John Anderson said, "This is about the Fourth Amendment." Attorney Anderson represented Ms. ... (click for more)

Justin Wilkins Selected As Deputy Chief Of Staff For Mayor Berke

Native Chattanoogan Justin Wilkins will serve as Mayor Andy Berke's deputy chief of staff, it was announced Friday. Mr. Wilkins has spent the last several years serving as the Tennessee state director for multiple advocacy and electoral organizations, including Organizing for America and Organizing for Action. Prior to that, he worked as project manager at Profit Plans LLC ... (click for more)

Mackey Should Be Thankful For The State Troopers On Highway 153

This is in response to a statement made by Warren Mackey at the commission meeting.  His question was to the mayor regarding the state troopers writing tickets on Highway 153, saying they were on a rampage.   It is apparent that Mr. Mackey doesn’t travel this highway.  His only concern was that the ticket money was going into state funds and not into county funds. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Must-Read For Parents

If you have a child or if you love one, what you are about to read could be one of the most important lessons in your life. I have a great friend in Dallas – Sandy Pohfal – who regularly shares stories with me that are moving, inspirational or important. This is all three. This story was written by a celebrated author, Christie Craig. She has written hundreds of articles for ... (click for more)