UT Study Shows Tennessee's Uninsured Numbers Decline For Third Year

Wednesday, November 2, 2016
For the third year in a row, the estimated number of uninsured people in Tennessee dropped, according to a report released today by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research, which is housed in the Haslam College of Business. 
The percentage of uninsured people in Tennessee—5.5 percent—is the lowest in the past 20 years.
 
This year's survey shows that the uninsured rate for adults decreased from 8.
2 percent in 2015 to 6.6 percent in 2016. This percentage change represents approximately 67,000 fewer uninsured adults over the year and approximately 218,500 fewer uninsured adults since 2013. The uninsured rate for children is 1.8 percent.
 
The numbers are part of the "The Impact of TennCare: A Survey of Recipients, 2016," a report authored by LeAnn Luna, a Boyd Center and accounting professor, and Angela Thacker, a Boyd Center research associate. The annual report looks at the health insurance status of Tennessee residents, and collects information about recipients' use of medical facilities and gauges the extent of their satisfaction with services received.
 
This year's survey indicates that 92 percent of respondents reported satisfaction with the TennCare program. This marks the eighth year in a row that satisfaction levels have exceeded 90 percent. 
 
"We are pleased to learn that the satisfaction rate continues to reflect the mission of our organization which is to improve lives through high-quality cost-effective care," said Dr. Wendy Long, deputy commissioner of Health Care Finance and Administration and director of the Bureau of TennCare. "The results of this annual study show a general improvement in access to health care across the state but we know that more work can be done." 
Other highlights from this year’s survey include:
  • A 5 percent decrease in the percentage of people who cited affordability as a reason for not obtaining health insurance–from 90 percent in 2015 to 85 percent in 2016.
  • A notable increase in uninsured respondents reporting that they do not need health insurance—from 19 percent in 2015 to 30 percent in 2016. 
  • A decrease from 6 percent to 3 percent among TennCare heads of households who first sought treatment at a hospital rather than a doctor’s office or a clinic. 
The survey, which interviewed approximately 5,000 heads of households by telephone between May and July 2016, is a regular follow-up to previous surveys conducted since 1993.
The Boyd Center conducted the survey under contract with the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration.


Tennessee Board Of Regents Approves Funding Requests For Initiatives And Construction

The Tennessee Board of Regents approved four priority requests for education, job-training and security initiatives across the state’s community and technical college system for the next fiscal year on Friday, including 100 new success coaches to bolster student advising.  The success coaches, or relational advisors, would work directly with students to help them navigate ... (click for more)

Lee Writing Prof Commissioned To Write Play

Lee University’s Stacey Isom Campbell has been commissioned to write a play to be performed by Lee Theatre next spring.  “It’s a huge honor to have been asked to write something brand new to be performed on our campus,” said Ms. Campbell, associate professor of creative writing at Lee. “I’m excited to have my work showcased in this way.”  Dr. Christine Williams, ... (click for more)

School Board Approves "Partnership" With State As "Lesser Of 2 Evils"

The County School Board on Thursday night voted 7-2 to join in talks with the State Department of Education leading to a Partnership Zone for five low-performing schools. Joe Smith and David Testerman voted against the plan. Other board members said the only alternative was for the state to take over several low-performing schools under the Achievement School District in which ... (click for more)

Investors Who Lost In Dyer/Brennan Scheme Furious At Seeing Dyer At UTC Games; Attorney Says He Takes Disabled Brother To Work Games

Two victims in an investment scheme by Doug Dyer and James Brennan said they were furious to see Dyer continuing to attend UTC sporting events. Dyer is a past president of the Mocs' Quarterback Club. In two victim letters prior to the Dyer/Brennan sentencing next Friday - from Mickey McCamish and Mark E. Smith, they state that Dyer bought season tickets to UTC football and has ... (click for more)

September Is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

The calendar fills up quickly in September as families return to a packed routine after quieter summer days. Unfortunately, your health might take a backseat to your busy schedule. So make a note on your calendar that September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and remind yourself—or the men in your life—about the importance of a healthy prostate.   Prostate cancer is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I Am Very Privileged

A California professor who teaches sociology at San Diego State told her students she would give each extra credit if they would participate in a “White Privilege Checklist” the other day. Understand, there is no pass or fail but, the more of the 20 statements you agree with, reveals you are “more guilty” of being white and therefore more “privileged” than those who are not. ... (click for more)