Thousands of residents in Tennessee have been notified by the state that because of Obamacare they will lose coverage under a TennCare-sponsored program intended to help small businesses and the self-employed buy health insurance.
President Obama, as part of his push to pass the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, frequently told the American people that if they liked their current health care plan they would be able to keep it and that premiums would not go up.
However, in a letter sent out by Tennessee officials it states that as a limited benefit plan, CoverTN does not provide a complete list of services required by Obamacare and as such, those covered under the program will lose their coverage.
CoverTN was established in 2006 by the state in order to provide a program whereby the state, employer, and employee would split premium costs evenly based on an individual’s age, tobacco use and weight.
The Tennessean noted that Stacy Harris, a business owner who publishes the Internet guide, Stacy’s Music Row Report, used CoverTN for preventative care, and supplemented the policy with another that had a $15,000 deductible. She was notified by the private insurer that it would stop offering the high deductible policy before she got a letter from the state.
“It was all I had,” Harris said.
Obamacare establish subsidies that are tied to incomes in order to help people buy coverage, on the Health Insurance Marketplace, the federal exchange set up by the government for those who do not have insurance. However, because Harris has investment income from her business, she makes too much money to get much help for the exchange.
CoverTN has been criticized by Families USA, an advocacy organization for health care consumers, calling it a “bare-bones health plan” added 2009 report that noted the plans limits on hospital coverage, prescription drugs and cancer treatment.
However, 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.”
Harris was an advocate for Obamacare, however she says she has now learned that she has lost the health plan that best fit her budget.
“I was one of the people who was advocating the Affordable Care Act because I believed the president when he said if you like what you have, you can keep it,” Harris said.