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By Carla Anderson
In December 2012, Gov. Bill Haslam announced Tennessee would not develop its own health insurance exchange. Haslam cited the lack of information from the federal government as his main reason for not proceeding with a state-run exchange.
Prior to his 2012 announcement, Haslam had leaned toward a state-run exchange. He believed local state control was preferable and that the state could run the exchange more cost-effectively that the federal government. His opinion seemed consistent with public sentiment. A 2011 executive summary of stakeholder feedback to the Tennessee Insurance Exchange Planning Initiative stated “no stakeholder group with which we have met has indicated that it prefers a federally-run exchange rather than one operated by the State.” However, Republican legislators opposed the exchange, and Tea Party supporters staged repeated protests.
Approximately 16 percent of the population in Tennessee is uninsured according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Updated May 11, 2013
Health Assist Tennessee
Helps connect Tennesseans with public and private programs to meet health care needs and assists TennCare members with access to medical care.
State Exchange Profile: Tennessee
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of Tennessee’s progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.
Health insurance information, stats, news, quotes and more.
Let your Tennessee governor and legislators know how you feel about the state's proposed health insurance exchange.Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam
05/06/2013 10:05 PM -- Chicago Business Tribune — Cigna’s chief executive officer announced the company will participate in the health insurance exchanges in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Tennessee and Texas. Colorado will operate its own exchange, while the other four states have opted for the federal exchange.
03/21/2013 2:03 PM -- Legal Newsline — Republicans in the House and Senate have proposed bills to alter state insurance law to prevent insurance companies from participating in health insurance exchanges. In a legal opinion, the state attorney general said the bills were constitutionally questionable.
12/12/2012 3:12 PM -- Insurance Journal — Tennessee joined the ranks of states opting for a federally operated health insurance exchange. Gov. Haslam said the federal government hadn’t provided nearly enough information to allow the state to proceed. “I’m more and more convinced they’re making this up as they go,” Haslam said.
12/05/2012 10:12 PM -- Associated Press — With the state officially undecided on a model for a health insurance exchange, Tea Party members, Republican state legislators and talk show hosts held a rally to voice their opposition to the state-run option.
10/30/2012 7:10 PM -- timesnews.net — Gov. Bill Haslam said state legislators will need to decide in 2013 if the state will run its own insurance exchange. However, states that want to operate a state-run exchange are required to submit an exchange blueprint to the federal government by Nov. 16, 2012.
10/05/2012 7:10 PM -- Nashville Business Journal — Gov. Bill Haslam announced that Tennessee will not define an essential health benefits package. The benefits package must be covered by all health plans sold on an online marketplace beginning in 2014. An official working on Tennessee’s health insurance exchange said the state will likely default to a health plan offered [...]
03/22/2012 7:03 PM -- The Tennessean–this editorial argues that Tennessee should not develop its own exchange, arguing that there is no difference between a state-created exchange and a federally mandated one, there is too much political uncertainty, and it’s too expensive.
03/22/2012 12:03 AM -- Nashville Public Radio–Tennessee’s Republican leaders are praising the federal government’s decision to delay the deadline for states to implement state-run exchanges in order to receive federal grants.
02/22/2012 8:02 PM -- Governing.com–A total of $230 million was given to ten states by the federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services. The money will be used to aid the development of health insurance exchanges in those states.
11/19/2011 7:11 AM -- The Commercial Appeal – Despite court challenges to the federal health reform law, the state of Tennessee will continue to prepare for a state health insurance exchange.
09/27/2011 5:09 PM -- Knoxville News – Tennessee residents hear details of how a health insurance exchange will work.