Tag Archives: HealthCare

Haslam on fed-funded vouchers for the working poor: ‘Nobody’s done this before’

Gov. Bill Haslam tells the Times-Free Press that the “Volunteer Plan,” one part of his modified Medicaid expansion proposal, should be popular with both employers and their working poor employees. But he doesn’t know how many will sign up.

“Nobody’s done this before,” Haslam said in interviews with the Times Free Press about his Insure Tennessee proposal, a major part of which is built on the Volunteer Plan. The idea is for workers to use federally funded vouchers to participate in employers’ health plans.

But Haslam, a Republican, thinks the “market-driven” idea should prove attractive to the working poor as well as their bosses.

The employee/employer voucher component surprised some businesses and business groups, that are interested in more details.

Haslam said he sees the program being voluntary for employers.

“I don’t think we can force [employers] to be required to accept it,” Haslam said, but added he thinks employers would welcome it.

“I’m not certain why the business would say we’re OK with you paying for it, but we’re not OK with taking your money and a voucher, which is what it would be,” Haslam said. “From their standpoint it would actually tie their employee to them a little more.”

According to the administration’s calculations, the working poor are a substantial number of the estimated 200,000 low-income people who could qualify for Haslam’s proposed Medicaid expansion under the federal Affordable Care Act.

…”We know that over half are working now,” the governor said. “… The arguments for doing it [offering vouchers] are that your employer’s plan is accepted more places than Medicaid is.”

Employer plans also generally provide better benefits, Haslam said.

Right now, many workers earning $8 or $9 an hour can’t afford health coverage offered by their employers, Haslam said. The vouchers would pay for premiums, copays and other out-of-pocket costs.

But many workers envision moving up the pay ladder over time. The Volunteer Plan, Haslam said, offers them an easier way of getting coverage with employers now, and they won’t later have to switch from TennCare to an employer’s plan as their incomes rise and they are no longer eligible for government assistance.

Charities to Get $40M in Settlement of Nursing Home Litigation

News release from Tennessee Attorney General’s office:
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — National Health Investors, Inc., (NYSE:NHI), National HealthCare Corporation (NYSE MKT: NHC, NHC.PRA), the court-appointed Receiver for two Tennessee nonprofits, SeniorTrust of Florida, Inc., (“SeniorTrust”) and ElderTrust of Florida, Inc., (“ElderTrust), and the Tennessee Attorney General announced today that they have agreed to resolve a long-standing dispute that has been the subject of litigation. The resolution of the litigation, together with the Receiver’s sale of 14 nursing homes and liquidation of the nonprofits’ assets, will ultimately result in approximately $40M for charitable purposes in Tennessee.
The Tennessee Attorney General had previously asked the Davidson County Chancery Court to place both of these nonprofits in receivership. The Receiver subsequently filed suit against National Health Investors, Inc. (“NHI”) and National HealthCare Corporation (“NHC”).
NHI helped to establish SeniorTrust and ElderTrust, two Tennessee 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporations, in 2000. Between 2001 and 2004, NHI sold a group of skilled nursing facilities in Missouri and Kansas to SeniorTrust and a group of skilled nursing facilities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire to ElderTrust. The Receiver’s primary dispute with NHI concerned the financial terms on which NHI had sold and financed the purchase of the facilities to the nonprofits.
In 2007, NHC acquired the lease of a long-term care facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, known as Standifer Place from SeniorTrust. The Receiver’s primary dispute with NHC concerned the financial terms on which NHC acquired the lease.
The Receiver for SeniorTrust and ElderTrust claimed that the financial terms of the various transactions with NHI and NHC were unfair to the nonprofits, a claim NHI and NHC disputed.

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