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.


Curtis Powell Is Siskin Hospital’s New Vice President Of Quality

Siskin Hospital announced that Curtis Powell has joined the staff as the new vice president of quality. “I am very excited to join Siskin Hospital. I learned of Siskin Hospital while attending a conference in New Orleans last year and am looking forward to building on the great reputation the hospital has established. I am hoping to contribute, using my skills and experience, ... (click for more)

Hutcheson To Host Community Health Fair At Trenton Family Practice

Hutcheson Medical Center will host a health fair at Trenton Family Practice,12978 North Main St. in Trenton, Ga. on Tuesday, Oct. 7 from 4-6 p.m. The public is invited to attend and participate, and pre-registration is encouraged. To pre-register, please call 706-657-4183. "Health screens plays a major role in preventative medical care," organizers said.   Hutcheson ... (click for more)

Linear Park Planned As Extension Of Walnut Street Bridge In Front Of Planned Boutique Hotel

A linear park that will be an extension of the Walnut Street Bridge public space is planned in front of a new boutique hotel at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way (Second Street). Mitch Patel of Vision Hospitality on Tuesday night told nearby residents that "the city pushed this idea of a linear park, and we agree that it is a great idea." He said the current situation in which ... (click for more)

Sharply-Divided City Council Approves Office Reorganization; Councilman Freeman Calls Move "Evil, Hellish"

A sharply-divided City Council on Tuesday voted 5-4 to completely reorganize the council office, leaving current staffers without a job down the road but with the option to reapply. Councilman Moses Freeman called the move "evil" and "hellish." He said, "We are punishing somebody on a personal level," though he said the office has been running smoothly. Saying the majority ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)