Tennessee Announces Medicaid Expansion Option

Tennessee became the latest Republican-led state to gain approval for a Medicaid expansion option when Gov Bill Haslam unveiled the Insure Tennessee plan Monday morning. There are just 20 states left that have not expanded Medicaid.

Just 20 states remain that have not expanded Medicaid.

Tennessee became the latest Republican-led state to gain approval for a Medicaid expansion option when Gov Bill Haslam unveiled the Insure Tennessee plan Monday morning.

The state’s alternative approach to Medicaid expansion is a 2-year pilot program that provides healthcare coverage to Tennesseans who currently do not have insurance or who have limited options. The program will reward healthy behaviors, prepare members to transition to private coverage, and promotes personal responsibility.

“We made the decision in Tennessee nearly 2 years ago not to expand traditional Medicaid,” Gov Haslam said in a statement. “This is an alternative approach that forges a different path and is a unique Tennessee solution. This plan leverages federal dollars to provide healthcare coverage to more Tennesseans, to give people a choice in their coverage, and to address the cost of healthcare, better health outcomes and personal responsibility.

1. A fiscally sound and sustainable program

2. Providing 2 new private market choices for Tennesseans

3. Shifting the delivery model and payment of healthcare in Tennessee from fee-for-service to outcomes based

4. Incentivizing Tennesseans to be more engaged and to take more personal responsibility in their health

5. And preparing participants for eventual transition to commercial health coverage

The governor’s plan, which received “verbal approval” from HHS to move forward, according to The Hill, includes 5 key areas:

Insure Tennessee offers coverage options for individuals below 138% of poverty, which is $16,100 for an individual and $27,300 for a family of 3.

“Our approach is responsible and reasonable, and I truly believe that it can be a catalyst to fundamentally changing health care in Tennessee,” Gov Haslam said. “It is our hope that this plan opens the door in the future for innovation within our existing Medicaid program. I look forward to working with providers across the state to advance payment reform and with members of the general assembly to make this plan a reality.”