New Health Care Bill Helps Those with No Options

A new bill was introduced Wednesday by Tennessee Senators regarding the Affordable Care Act.

With the failure of last weeks Republican’s Affordable Care Act to repeal and replace, Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker put together a new bill.

They say with health insurance companies backing away from the ACA exchange, something else needs to be done for those with zero options.

The goal is to eliminate penalties for families with no other health care options.

The bill is asking for those eligible for subsidies to be allowed to use those funds toward insurance plans approved in other states.

Senator Alexander says that, “they shouldn’t be penalized for not buying insurance when there’s no insurance to buy.”

According to Senator’s notes, 7% of U.S. counties only have one approved insurance plan available to them.

And that’s expected to jump to 32% this year.

One local health insurance carrier says they support the bill.

AMERICAN EXCHANGE COO, Andrew Hetzler says, “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee remains pretty committed to the state. The only reason they didn’t offer plans in Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis is because Cigna and Humana wanted to participate in those areas. Knoxville only has Humana. Nashville and Memphis both have other options so, Blue Cross didn’t offer in those areas. My thought if those carriers pull out 2018, Blue Cross would come back.”

He says the new change may cause little network disruption and consumers should not see much of a difference in pricing.

Hetzler says he also wants to see Medicaid expand and should be top priority.

When not insured, a family of four may pay a penalty that costs up to $2,000.

About 195,0000 Tennesseans may be impacted.

And if passed, the plan would be effective through the end of 2019.

Categories: Chattanooga, Local News

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