Note: I decided that while the original headline accurately reflected my feelings about this WSJ Op-Ed, it was a bit over the top, so I've changed it to something less crude.
For years, the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, generally shorthanded as the ACA or, more colloquially known as "Obamacare," was the top policy target of Republicans and other conservatives.
It seemed as though not a day went by without some right-wing opinion piece being published attacking the ACA for one thing or another. Once in awhile these attacks had some validity, but the vast majority were either completely baseless or grossly exaggerated.
And yet, after the dust settled on the infamous 2017 ACA "repeal/replace" debacle, it seemed as though the GOP had pretty much tired of their relentless assault on the healthcare law. They had failed to repeal it even with control of the White House, Senate, House of Representatives and Supreme Court, and ended up settling for zeroing out of the federal Individual Mandate Penalty as a consolation prize.
Tennessee's preliminary 2024 individual & small group market health insurance rate filings are now available, including actual enrollment numbers, which allows me to run weighted averages for both markets.
For the most part they're fairly straightforward: The individual market is looking at average rate increases of around 4.8%, while the small group market averages around +7.8% overall.
UPDATE 10/02/23: Well, all of Tennessee's filings appear to have been approved as is by the state regulatory department...they all say "approved" at the SERFF database and the newest filing versions all predate the original publication of this blog post from 8/17, so I'm concluding the preliminary rates are also the final rates.
Tennessee has posted their approved 2023 individual & small group market health insurance rate filings. For the most part they're fairly straightforward: The individual market is looking at average rate increases of around 8.5% (down a bit from the 9% average via preliminary filings), while the small group market averages around +3.0% overall.
The biggest news here is Bright Health is dropping out of Tennessee's markets. Bright's withdrawal will leave roughly 50,000 Tennessee residents to have to either manually pick a different plan from a different carrier or be automatically "mapped" to a similar plan to what they have now...via a different carrier.
MICHIGAN: Another One (Mostly) Bites The Dust; 12th CO-OP Drops Off Exchange, May Go Belly-Up
It appears that East Lansing-based Consumers Mutual Insurance of Michigan could wind down operations this year as it is not participating in the state health insurance exchange for 2016.
But officials of Consumers Mutual today are discussing several options that could determine its future status with the state Department of Insurance and Financial Services, said David Eich, marketing and public relations officer with Consumers Mutual.
Consumers Mutual CEO Dennis Litos said: "We are reviewing our situation (financial condition) with DIFS and should conclude on a future direction this week.”
While Eich said he could not disclose the options, he said one is “winding down” the company, which has 28,000 members, including about 6,000 on the exchange.
Tennessee has posted their preliminary 2023 individual & small group market health insurance rate filings. For the most part they're fairly straightforward: The individual market is looking at average rate increases of around 9%, assuming they're approved as is by state regulators, while the small group market averages around +2.9% overall.
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Tennessee and South Carolina can begin offering Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage for 12 months postpartum to an estimated 22,000 and 16,000 pregnant and postpartum individuals, respectively, through a new state plan opportunity made available by the American Rescue Plan.
Tennessee and South Carolina join Louisiana, Michigan, Virginia, New Jersey, and Illinois in extending Medicaid and CHIP coverage from 60 days to 12 months postpartum. CMS is also working with another nine states and the District of Columbia to extend postpartum coverage for 12 months after pregnancy, including California, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. As a result of these efforts, as many as 720,000 pregnant and postpartum individuals across the United States could be guaranteed Medicaid and CHIP coverage for 12 months after pregnancy.
Tennessee's proposed 2022 rate filings are pretty straightforward...no new entrants or drop-outs among the carriers in either the individual or small group markets, and the SERFF filings actually include the enrollment totals for all of them in both markets (a rarity these days!).
The weighted average premium increase for unsubsidized enrollees is 4.4% for indy market enrollees and 8.9% on the small group market.
UPDATE 10/26/21: Well, it looks like all of the requested rates have been approved by the TN regulators without any changes on either market.
Tennessee fires top vaccine official as COVID-19 shows signs of new spread
The Tennessee state government on Monday fired its top vaccination official, becoming the latest of about two dozen states to lose years of institutional knowledge about vaccines in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The termination comes as the virus shows new signs of spread in Tennessee, and the more-transmissible delta variant surfaces in greater numbers.
Dr. Michelle Fiscus, the medical director for vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization programs at the Tennessee Department of Health, said she was fired on Monday afternoon and provided a copy of her termination letter. It provides no explanation for her termination.
Tennessee is one of 12 states which still hasn't expanded Medicaid eligibility under the ACA (13 if you include Missouri, whose voters expanded the program last year...but which the state legislature refuses to fund).