Thousands of Tennesseans were notified this past month that they will lose their health coverage under CoverTN, a TennCare sponsored program, as of January 1st, 2014. The Tennessean reports that more than 28,000 Tennesseans enrolled in CoverTN, CoverKids, CoverRX and AccessTN will be affected by the changes made under the Affordable Care Act. The CoverTN program, established in 2006, helped small businesses and those self-employed buy insurance at an affordable rate. CoverTN evenly split premium costs between the state, employer and employee based on the person’s age, tobacco use and their weight. The cancellation letter that residents received states that as a limited-benefit plan, the CoverTN program does not cover all the services required by the federal law under the Affordable Care Act and would no longer be an assistance option as of January 1st, 2014, leaving Tennesseans to find new care through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace.
CoverRx is Also Closing
Tennessee is also closing CoverRX, a pharmacy assistance program designed to assist those who have no pharmacy coverage get the medications they need, to those who are above the federal poverty level. 10,000 of the 54,000 CoverRX enrollees will also lose their coverage as of January 1st, 2014.
AccessTN No Longer Accepting Applications
AccessTN stopped accepting new applications October 31, 2013. They released a statement stating that for current members with incomes above 100 percent of the federal poverty level and/or members who not not currently receive premium assistance, will lose their coverage effective December 31, 2013. AccessTN provides Tennesseans with comprehensive health insurance for those who are uninsurable due to pre-existing conditions.
Another TennCare program that is being changed under the Affordable Care Act is CoverKids. The CoverKids program provides free, comprehensive health coverage for qualifying children 18 and younger. Many Tennessee families who rely on CoverKids received a letter in September stating:
There will be no change to your child’s CoverKids coverage through December 31, 2013. However, starting January 1, 2014, CoverKids will no longer offer the buy-in program to families with incomes over 250% of the Federal Poverty Level. Our records show that your family income is above 250% of the Federal Poverty Level. This means that your child’s coverage through CoverKids will end on December 31, 2013. But you will be able to find new health insurance for your child because of the new federal health care law. Does your child also have dental coverage through CoverKids? If so, your child’s dental coverage will also end on December 31, 2013. To avoid a break in coverage you will have to find new insurance coverage for your child that starts on January 1, 2014. We want to help you understand the options available to you.
They also stated in the letter, that families will be able to purchase health and dental insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace starting October 1, 2013. You may view the CoverKids cancellation letter in it’s entirety by clicking here.