Governor Haslam’s proposed Insure Tennessee program will be the topic of public discussion at a gathering in Sevierville this month. The discussion is hosted by the Sevier County Democrats and the public is invited to attend and participate.
Insure Tennessee is the Governor’s proposal to offer Health Coverage for those whose incomes are under 100% of the Federal Poverty Level, currently about $11,000 per year for a single person or $24,000 per year for a family of four. The Insure Tennessee proposal will also cover those between 100% and 138% Federal Poverty Level as well, but under somewhat different financial arrangements.
Because of the legislative & judicial history of The Affordable Care Act nationally and in Tennessee, there is a “Gap” in coverage. This is especially true for many under 100% Federal Poverty Level who are not eligible for TennCare and who also are not eligible for the Tax Credits and other Federal subsidies that make the Marketplace insurance more affordable. There are 200,000-300,000 Tennesseans who fall into this Gap, including 5,000-7,000 people who live in Sevier County. These people are often low-wage workers, disabled persons and seniors waiting for Medicare coverage, those needing unaffordable medical care to go back to work, and even 24,000 veterans not covered by VA Health Benefits.
Insure Tennessee will not cost Tennesseans additional taxes, since it will be paid for by Federal taxes already collected. The 10% or so that is not, will be covered by fees self-imposed by Tennessee Hospitals on themselves, since the program will relieve them of a much larger financial burden of uncompensated care. The program will bring 15,000 new jobs and over $1 billion per year in new Federal investment into Tennessee.
Insure Tennessee is a bi-partisan program including ideas from both sides of the political isle and it has bi-partisan support in the Tennessee General Assembly. However, it failed to pass there last Session. We will be discussing the future of Insure Tennessee.
The Insure Tennessee discussion will begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015 in the Birchfield room at the King Family Library, 408 High Street in Sevierville, Tenn. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, call 865-654-9349.