by Tom Humphrey
News release from the governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today unveiled his Insure Tennessee plan, a two year pilot program to provide health care coverage to Tennesseans who currently don’t have access to health insurance or have limited options. The program rewards healthy behaviors, prepares members to transition to private coverage, promotes personal responsibility and incentivizes choosing preventative and routine care instead of unnecessary use of emergency rooms.
The governor announced that he plans to call a special session to focus on the proposal after the 109th General Assembly convenes in January.
“We made the decision in Tennessee nearly two years ago not to expand traditional Medicaid,” Haslam said. “This is an alternative approach that forges a different path and is a unique Tennessee solution. This plan leverages federal dollars to provide health care coverage to more Tennesseans, to give people a choice in their coverage, and to address the cost of health care, better health outcomes and personal responsibility.
“Our approach is responsible and reasonable, and I truly believe that it can be a catalyst to fundamentally changing health care in Tennessee. 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.”
Five key areas of the governor’s plan include:
• A fiscally sound and sustainable program;
• Providing two new private market choices for Tennesseans;
• Shifting the delivery model and payment of health care in Tennessee from fee-for-service to outcomes based;
• Incentivizing Tennesseans to be more engaged and to take more personal responsibility in their health;
• And preparing participants for eventual transition to commercial health coverage.
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