CoverTN to end under ‘Obamacare’

The state of Tennessee this month notified thousands of residents that they will lose coverage under a TennCare-sponsored program that helps small businesses and the self-employed buy health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act, according to The Tennessean.

The letter states that as a limited-benefit plan, CoverTN does not cover all the services required by the federal law and will no longer exist as of Jan. 1. CoverTN had a $25,000 annual limit on benefits. The federal health law does not allow yearly expenditure caps.

CoverTN was established in 2006 as a program in which the state, employer and employee would evenly split premium costs based on an individual’s age, tobacco use and weight.

…Families USA, an advocacy organization for health-care consumers, was critical of CoverTN, calling it a “bare-bones health plan” in a 2009 report. The organization pointed out the plan’s limits on hospital coverage, prescription drugs and cancer treatment.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said CoverTN had merit.

“The new health-care law has destroyed an innovative state health insurance plan that is helping 16,000 Tennesseans afford health-care coverage,” Alexander said. “Like all Americans, these Tennesseans were promised by President Obama that under his health-care law they’d keep their coverage, but will likely be forced by the law into the Obamacare exchanges, where the affordability of health insurance, security of their personal information and ability of doctors to take new patients are all in question.”