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.


Heartland Ranch To Fund Interactive Arcade At Orange Grove Center

Orange Grove Center, Heartland Ranch and UTC Department of Health Promotion and Human Performance announce the grand opening of the Heartland Arcade at Orange Grove Center, Isidore Tyber Building,  2325 Shady Ln.  on Friday from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Funded by the Heartland Ranch, the arcade will provide interactive kinetic video and arcade gaming opportunities for individuals ... (click for more)

'Cops For A Cause' In Support Of 2nd Annual Chattanooga Autism Awareness Walk

The 2nd Annual Chattanooga Autism Awareness Walk will take place on Saturday, Nov. 8 at Coolidge Park with a starting time of 10:45 a.m.,  with children’s activities available starting at 8 a.m. The route for the 2 miles total walk will start at Coolidge Park and continue over the pedestrian bridge, around the art district and then back to Coolidge Park. For this ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Area Under Hard Freeze Warning As Winter Comes Early

The Chattanooga area was under a freeze warning as winter rushed in early. The biting weather came as crew members were about to hit the water for the annual Head of the Hooch at Ross's Landing. Here is the warning: ...FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM EST /2 AM CST/ TO 9 AM EST /8 AM CST/ SUNDAY ... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MORRISTOWN HAS ISSUED ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex That Brought $3 Million Profit Exempt From Most Taxes Until 2022 Under PILOT

A downtown Chattanooga apartment complex that recently was sold at a $3 million profit is exempt from most property taxes through 2022 under a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement.   No payment of school taxes was included in the deal for Walnut Commons at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way.   The only taxes due on the property for the next eight ... (click for more)

A Vote For Education Is Critical In Tennessee

In a state where just 28 percent of eighth graders are proficient in math and 33 percent are proficient in reading according to national assessments, education is deserving of more attention in 2014 elections. Across the country, more parents are making informed decisions about their child’s education, but for Volunteer State parents without resources, choices are difficult to come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden In November

As the first day of November arrives today, it is cold enough in my garden to officially certify that fall has fell! There are even signs of ice on the ground but there is a bounty crop of acorns so, in keeping with our monthly tradition, some will get shiny acorns and others will get a chunk of cold ice: A SHINY ACORN for Patriots football coach Bill Belichick for scoffing at ... (click for more)