AccessTN Board Reopens Program Enrollment

Friday, December 03, 2010 | 07:59am

Policy Change is Effective Immediately, Premium Assistance Will Not be Available

NASHVILLE – The AccessTN Board of Directors voted yesterday to reopen enrollment to new members in the state-run high risk insurance plan. The change is effective immediately.

Coverage will be available through AccessTN to those Tennesseans who have pre-existing medical or chronic health conditions which prevent them from obtaining health insurance on the private market.

Along with Thursday’s decision, the Board said AccessTN’s premium assistance program, which provides members with financial support from the state to cover the monthly premium, will not reopen at this time. This decision was made as a result of the limited availability of state dollars for the assistance, which have been fully allocated to current members. Those members already on premium assistance will continue to receive the subsidy.

Members in AccessTN pay monthly premiums based on age, weight and tobacco use. Premiums also vary depending on which of three AccessTN plans a member chooses. Plan One offers higher monthly premiums and has a $1,000 annual deductible. Plan Two offers slightly lower premiums with a $3,000 annual deductible and is health savings account eligible. Plan Three offers the lowest premiums and has a $5,000 annual deductible. Monthly premiums range among all three plans from $284 to $1,038 for those age 64 and younger.

Information about AccessTN, including how to apply, can be found online at or by calling 1-866-636-0080.

New applicants to AccessTN may also be eligible for the federal high risk pool, known as the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP). Administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, PCIP also 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 and no premium assistance is available. More information about PCIP, including monthly premiums and how to apply, can be found online at or by calling 1-866-717-5826.

AccessTN, which serves as Tennessee’s high risk pool, opened in April 2007 as part the 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.

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