The Tennessee health insurance exchange is the talk of the town. According to Brian Haile, director of Tennessee's Insurance Exchange Planning Initiative, they are devising a final recommendation to Governor Bill Haslam on how they plan to run the insurance exchange in Tennessee.
Even though Tennessee got a waiver exempting them from health care reform, they could not turn a blind eye on this particular mandate. Haile said that preparing for the health-reform-mandated exchange is the plausible thing to do. He added that they are only doing what makes sense for their state. When states' health exchanges are mandated to be open for business, Tennessee will be ready by hook or by crook.
Will Tennessee Health Insurance Exchange Lead To Lower Premiums?
The "exchange" was created under President Obama's Affordable Care Act. Approximately 11.5 million Americans will benefit from the exchange. Every state in America is expected to run their exchange by January 1, 2014. States that fail to do so would be letting the federal government run and control the health exchange for them.
Every state needs to establish two exchanges; one for individuals and another for small businesses with less than 50 employees. You are not mandated to buy from these exchanges, though.
An exchange is an online marketplace where individuals and small firms can shop for affordable health coverage from participating insurance companies. This would really help out consumers planning to get low cost coverage. By 2014, almost all Americans are expected to have a health insurance plan in place or face paying a penalty.
All the Tennessee health insurance plans offered will be standardized. Benefits will be the same regardless of the company selling it. Consumers will simply focus on the price of the plan and quality of health care they will receive. When you introduce productive competition, efficiencies of scale, more innovation and increased consumer power into a market as dysfunctional as the current situation for health insurance, you get lower TN health insurance prices and higher quality as a result.
Pre-existing conditions won't even matter in the insurance exchange. Insurance companies can only set rates based on where customers live, how old they are and whether they use tobacco. They can no longer use a long list of factors used today that include gender, health status and weight.
Will Tennessee Health Insurance Exchange Have An Open Enrollment Period?
Although the online marketplace will officially start on January 1, 2014, interested individuals and small firms will be able to begin the process of signing up for coverage before then. You get "open enrollment" periods for plans sold through the online exchange. The open enrollment periods are designed to encourage people to sign up for coverage right away, rather than waiting until they become ill.
The soft opening for the health insurance exchange will begin October 1, 2013 up to the 28th of February in 2014. This will give consumers sufficient time to prepare for the state based exchange and help them make better plan choices. For the coming years, the open enrollment period for this insurance marketplace will be on October 15 and run until December 7. Under specific conditions such as adoption or you lose employer-provided healthcare coverage, you will be allowed to buy coverage outside of the open enrollment period.