Local     National

Health reform

Local

Accused of creating monthslong delays for thousands of Tennesseans trying to apply for Medicaid, TennCare officials named in a federal lawsuit said Thursday that another name needs to be topping the lawsuit: The federal government.

Over 6 percent of health insurance buyers in Georgia who bought plans on the federal new marketplace now face losing that coverage if they do not produce documents proving their citizenship or immigration status, federal officials said Wednesday.

Hamilton County Schools struggle with healthcare costs

Could eat up 3 percent raise teachers got last year, board member worries

A proposal to charge teachers and school employees an extra $100 a month to keep their spouse and families on the school's health care plan got a cool reception Wednesday from the Hamilton County School Board.

While a group of civil rights attorneys demands that TennCare officials turn over a series of documents related to delays to its enrollment process, TennCare attorneys Tuesday called the motion an “11th-hour” attempt to gather information as a federal hearing looms.

The dominion of Tennessee's largest health insurer is reflected in its headquarters' lofty perch above downtown Chattanooga, atop a hill that during the Civil War was lined with Union cannons to repel Confederate troops.

Over the last seven months, shoppers in the new health insurance marketplace have become patients, using their new plans for the first time.

By the time Mark Horner signed up for insurance on Healthcare.gov in March, the furor over the site's botched rollout had largely been replaced with news that millions of people were flooding the site to enroll.

Using the words “disgraceful” and “atrocious” to describe long delays in the TennCare application process, three legal advocacy groups say they hope a federal class-action lawsuit filed against the state agency will put more pressure on state officials to overhaul the system.

Three legal advocacy organizations filed a federal class action lawsuit today against TennCare, Tennessee’s Medicaid program, saying that the state has “broken a decades-old promise to its most vulnerable residents” by implementing new policies the groups say deprive thousands of eligible people — including newborns, pregnant women and the elderly — from coverage.

More than 120,000 Tennesseans who bought health insurance plans off the new federal marketplace this year — 80 percent of those who bought such plans — made the purchase with the help of federal tax credits.

If this year’s real-estate market is a good one for Larry Lyons, the federal subsidy that helped him buy health insurance may turn into a huge bill at income tax time.

As patients, doctors and health analysts look to see how the Affordable Care Act plays out, the emergency room is one of the closely watched stages.

Health advocates in Tennessee and in the Southeast say they are "disappointed" and "troubled" by TennCare's response to federal officials about problems with the state's Medicaid application system.

NASHVILLE — A sometimes-defiant Haslam administration fired off its response Monday to criticisms from the Obama administration over Tennessee's implementation of rules and programs intended to facilitate enrollment of low-income residents under the federal health care law.

DUNLAP, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Haslam is expressing hope that a planned discussion with the nation's new health secretary during the National Governors Association meeting in Nashville this week might rekindle talks over his plan for Medicaid expansion in Tennessee.

This year, thousands of Tennessee women will go get a mammogram — just like they do every year.

Tennessee needs to improve its long-term care for seniors, and it needs to do it within the next 12 years, a new report indicates.

Every CEO wants to have the latest-and-greatest certification on the wall, to sit a trophy on the shelf and show the world just how great a place their company is.

Tennessee remains the only state that has handed its Medicaid application process over to the federal government, and for several months it has been the only state to shutter its in-person Medicaid application services.

There's one clear fact about the murky, ever-shifting world of hospital charges: They always get higher.

Some Medicare Advantage and TennCare patients insured through United Healthcare may lose their current doctors as the insurer cuts Tennessee physicians to narrow those networks.

ATLANTA — Two longshot candidates in the Republican primary for Georgia governor disagreed Saturday on whether to participate in a national health insurance overhaul and whether to expand the places people can carry firearms.

Tennessee's biggest health insurer helped insure its own financial health last year by rolling up record profits.

Most Tennesseans who signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act opted for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee plans, a new report from the company shows.

Even the subtlest motions that 5-year-old Jeremiah Williams makes in the therapy room are loaded with importance.

Blue or red, a majority of states have exceeded their health care sign-up targets under President Barack Obama's law — something that would have been hard to imagine after last fall's botched rollout of insurance markets.

A new report by S&P Capital IQ, a research firm serving the financial industry, indicates that by 2020 about 90 percent of American workers who now receive employer health insurance will be shifted to government exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Blue or red, a majority of states have exceeded their health care sign-up targets under President Barack Obama's law — something that would have been hard to imagine after last fall's botched rollout of insurance markets.

A surge of Georgia residents signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act in the final month of enrollment, with 220,000 applications streaming in before the March 31 deadline.

The deadline has passed for individuals to sign up this year for the new health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, but local brokers are betting that many small employers will still open the way for their employees to join such exchanges this year by changing the way they pay for their workers health care.

NASHVILLE — Democratic leaders say Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's decision not to expand Medicaid in Tennessee cast a dark shadow over his signature plan to cover tuition at two-year colleges.

It’s always been hard to shop around for a doctor. Outside of word-of-mouth and personal experience, it’s nearly impossible to compare medical service providers on the type of care they provide, much less the cost.

WASHINGTON — How is it that a few doctors take in millions of dollars from Medicare?

Tennesseans have picked up more than $100 million in federal tax credits to help pay for health plans bought through the new health insurance marketplace, but that is just a fraction of what they were eligible for during the enrollment period, a new report finds.

NASHVILLE — Tennessee health care volunteers and insurers were flooded Monday with a last-minute surge of consumers hoping to sign up for health coverage by deadline.

With the deadline for health insurance signups under the Affordable Care Act looming Monday, local volunteers are holding a signup event at the South Chattanooga Recreation Center.

NASHVILLE — U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius visited Nashville on Thursday to urge Tennesseans to sign up for insurance through the federal health care exchange before a March 31 deadline.

NASHVILLE — Republican state senators took final action today on a bill requiring Gov. Bill Haslam to obtain legislative approval for any deal he makes with the federal government to expand Medicaid in Tennessee.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — In a computer lab at Cleveland State Community College, the sprint to the national health care deadline sounds like fast typing, the crackle of cellphones on speaker, and quiet-yet-direct murmurings about income and family and medical needs.

NASHVILLE — The House has rejected Senate changes to a bill to require the governor to seek legislative approval for any prospective deal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee.

Part of the intent of the Affordable Care Act was to create what's called the "no wrong door" rule.

NASHVILLE — The number of Tennesseans singing up for coverage under the federal health insurance exchange reached nearly 78,000 through February.

It's time for Tennessee to stop playing partisan games with the Affordable Care Act because our red-state lawmakers don't like the president and the party he represents.

Gov. Bill Haslam says he doesn't feel threatened by legislation passed by fellow Senate Republicans that requires him to obtain legislative approval on any deal he may cut with the Obama administration on expanding Medicaid.

NASHVILLE — The state Senate this morning approved legislation requiring Gov. Bill Haslam to seek and win legislative approval before expanding Medicaid to an estimated 180,000 low-income Tennesseans under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Since the day the Affordable Care Act was signed, reasonable observers anticipated that the consequences would include higher costs and reduced employment.

  • March 5th, 2014  |
  • By Chris Hopkins

Before Monday, Adam Cowan had been unable to afford insurance for nearly eight years.

As the days dwindle for people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act during this open enrollment period, two local navigator groups and a local broker agency are partnering in the final push to connect people with coverage.

As a fifth generation insurance broker, selling insurance is in Bobby Huffaker's DNA.

NASHVILLE — Tennessee was among the more than two-thirds of states rated as "high risk" for security problems related to its computers tapping into the federal health insurance exchange system.

WASHINGTON — Gov. Bill Haslam has asked U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to come up with a proposal that would give Tennessee more flexibility to expand Medicaid coverage.

People buying coverage through the new health care exchanges in East Tennessee are paying nearly a third less than the national average and less than half what's being charged in the nation's most expensive markets, including South Georgia.

When Tennessee launched TennCare in January 1994, the switchboard at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee was so overwhelmed on the first day of enrollment that operators couldn’t even answer all the calls, let alone respond to the applicants’ questions.

NASHVILLE — Nearly 60,000 Tennesseans signed up for coverage under the federal health insurance exchange through January, a 65 percent increase since the beginning of year.

Republicans and right-wing media organizations fell all over themselves this week rushing to tweet out and broadcast what they wanted to read into a Congressional Budget Office report about Obamacare — rather than what the report actually said.

NASHVILLE — The top House Democratic leader is requesting the Obama administration turn over documents detailing Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's interactions with the administration on his Medicaid expansion proposal.

NASHVILLE — Legislation that would ban new health insurance exchanges established under President Barack Obama's signature law has been delayed after a fiscal analysis projected the measure would cost the state more than $6 billion.

Editor's note: This is the third in an occasional series on the 10 essential health benefits required by the Affordable Care Act.

A strategic partnership forged last year between BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and Erlanger Health System is beginning to show fruit, a breakdown of local enrollees through the new health insurance marketplace indicates.

Employers in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama will likely pay more than $150 million in new taxes annually because the states are not expanding their Medicaid program, according to a new study.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee accounted for an estimated 86 percent of the new health plans purchased last year in Tennessee through the health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.

Editor's note: This is the second in an occasional series on the 10 essential health benefits required by the Affordable Care Act.

NASHVILLE — Health insurance exchanges established under President Barack Obama's signature law would be illegal under legislation proposed Wednesday by Republicans aiming to prevent state agencies from carrying out the mandates of the health overhaul.

Tennessee’s biggest health insurer is giving more time for those signing up for health care coverage under Obamacare to pay their premiums.

Deborah Merriman is struggling to understand why she’s been left out of the great Medicaid expansion that occurred across half the nation on New Year’s Day.

There is about to be a scene change in the drama surrounding the unfolding of the Affordable Care Act: Off the website and into the doctor's office.

Discussing race is a tricky thing. And by “tricky,” I mean terrifying.

  • Dec. 29th, 2013  |
  • By David Martin
  • 1 comment  |

NASHVILLE — As 2014 rolls in, millions of low-income Americans in 26 states will become eligible to join their states' Medicaid health programs under the federal Affordable Care Act.

NASHVILLE - The White House is trying to drive home in Tennessee what it says are the overall beneficial impacts of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act with a blitz of positive information about the law's various impacts in the Volunteer State.

Tennessee may be able to open another front in its war against rampant prescription drug abuse through a rule under the new federal health care law requiring health insurance plans to cover substance abuse treatment.

For years, the Hamilton County school system has used its generous health insurance plan as a recruiting tool, a way to make up for relatively lower teacher wages. And it was easy to sell. With low copayments and hospital visits at only $100, the plan offers nearly incomparable coverage.

Most small employers in Tennessee have opted to renew their existing health insurance plans for another year this fall to stay ahead of potentially costly changes coming from the requirements of the new health care reform law in January.

Chattanooga-area navigators and brokers say they are finally gaining traction on HealthCare.gov — with some navigators being able to walk consumers through the entire signup process for the first time in the two months since the site was launched.

Thousands of Tennesseans were able to breathe sighs of relief last week when the state announced that their canceled health insurance policies would stay in force for another year.

Tennessee health insurance plans considered dead under the Affordable Care Act may be revived for another year.

NASHVILLE - A top TennCare official said today he doesn’t see see the state continuing with its Cover Tennessee program for an estimated 15,400 residents beyond Jan. 1 despite President Barack Obama’s offer last week to let people keep current health plans for a year if they wish.

For tens of thousands of Tennesseans facing the prospect of canceled plans under the Affordable Care Act, the past month has been nothing short of a roller coaster.

NASHVILLE — Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen is part of the bipartisan consensus that the roll-out of online insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act has been a flop.

Scam artists don't need a lot of special knowledge about the Affordable Care Act to take advantage of their newest round of victims.

Given time, the Affordable Care Act will fail, 2012 Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said Thursday in Chattanooga.

NASHVILLE -- Some 387,000 Tennesseans, 654,000 Georgians and 270,000 Alabamians now uninsured or purchasing health insurance on their own will be eligible for subsidies to help pay for coverage next year under the federal health law, according to a new analysis.

NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Haslam says the most recent figure the state has on Tennesseans successfully enrolling in the troubled federal health insurance exchange comes to just a few hundred, but the Republican isn't sure whether he erred by refusing to create the state's own online marketplace.

For nearly three weeks, about three times a day, Muriel Hassell would sit down at her computer, type "HealthCare.gov" into the browser, and click the green button that says "Apply Now."

With chronic problems crippling the federal health care website, local counselors and insurance brokers say they are holding off on their efforts to enroll people in insurance plans through the site until late November.

For many Medicare patients at the hospital, phrases like "inpatient" and "observation status" can easily blend in undetected with all the other medical and insurance lingo echoing around the halls.

NASHVILLE — A new analysis warns that 161,650 low-income, adult Tennesseans risk disappearing into a health "coverage gap" when the federal Affordable Care Act largely takes effect on Jan. 1.

Locals hoping to buy health insurance on the newly created online marketplace say they remain in a "holding pattern" as they wait for chronic glitches to be fixed in the government site nearly two weeks after it was launched.

NASHVILLE — A federal judge has blocked the state of Tennessee from enforcing emergency rules for people who advise others about the new health insurance exchange.

A day after a 21-year-old Flintstone, Ga., man entered the national media spotlight -- including a front-page Times Free Press story -- for being among the first Americans to actually get through Obamacare's glitchy website and enroll for coverage, he acknowledged that he hadn't actually completed that process.

It was 3 a.m. before Chad Henderson made it through the online gauntlet of website crashes, error windows and hours of frozen screens. But at last, a Web page flickered and Henderson was facing his prize: The online application to apply for health insurance for his father and himself for the first time in 14 years.

Muriel Hassell skipped breakfast Tuesday morning and headed straight for her computer.

NASHVILLE — Republican Jim Tracy, the state senator challenging U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais in next year’s GOP primary, says he approves of U.S. House GOP representatives’ role in the partial shutdown of the federal government over the federal health care law.

For months, the Affordable Care Act has been something people debated, praised, scorned, and scratched their heads over.

NASHVILLE — A judge won’t block emergency rules covering people who dispense advice on the new health insurance exchange in Tennessee that launches today.

Whether or not ObamaCare ends up being the job killer that its critics claim, the launch of most of the health care reform plan today is creating lots of work today for Tennessee's biggest health insurers.

The day before the a new online insurance marketplace is launched under Affordable Care Act, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee announced that its rates have received the federal stamp of approval.

For months now, Oct. 1 has loomed as the pivotal date for the Affordable Care Act.

MACON, Ga. — A Georgia health system is laying off about 50 employees, citing losses it anticipates in response to health care reform.

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.