AccessTN to Close Enrollment to New Members Oct. 15
Federal High Risk Pool Offers Alternative for Tennessee’s Uninsurable
NASHVILLE – The AccessTN Board of Directors voted yesterday to close the state-run high risk insurance plan to new members effective Oct. 15, 2010. Those currently enrolled in AccessTN will not be affected by this change.
The change comes in light of the availability of the newly created and federally funded Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), which has $97 million earmarked to provide health coverage to uninsurable Tennesseans.
Coverage will continue for current AccessTN members. Individuals who have already applied for coverage through AccessTN will still have the opportunity to enroll if approved for coverage.
“We created AccessTN to offer an option to individuals who could not purchase health insurance due to a pre-existing medical condition,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “That program has met the needs of these individuals, and will continue to operate and serve current enrollees. The new federally sponsored health plan provides a new insurance option that will meet the health coverage needs of additional chronically ill Tennesseans. This represents a tremendous opportunity for those in our state who need health insurance but cannot enroll in private plans.”
Going forward, Tennesseans who lack health insurance and cannot access private coverage because of pre-existing conditions may be eligible for coverage through PCIP.
PCIP, which is administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, provides coverage to those with pre-existing medical conditions who can’t get coverage on the private insurance market. Applicants for PCIP must prove uninsurable status with a denial letter from a private insurer and must be uninsured for at least six months.
The federal plan offers comprehensive coverage with no pre-existing condition exclusion and no annual or lifetime benefit limit. Like AccessTN, PCIP members are responsible for paying monthly premiums, which vary from $286 to $609 per month, depending on the individual’s age. There is no premium assistance program for PCIP members. More information about PCIP, including how to apply, can be found online at www.pcip.gov or by calling 1-866-717-5826
AccessTN, which serves as Tennessee’s high risk pool, opened in April 2007 as part of Governor Bredesen’s Cover Tennessee health care initiative. In its nearly four years of operation, more than 10,000 Tennesseans have been covered through the program, which has a current membership of just less than 4,000. More information about AccessTN is available at www.covertn.gov.