Obamacare | Nashville Public Radio

Obamacare

Bill Lee for Tennessee/Karl Dean for Governor

Democrat Karl Dean is banking on Medicaid expansion as his winning issue in Tennessee's race for governor, while Republican Bill Lee claims the plan would be detrimental. The opposing views represent the sharpest divide between the candidates.

TN Photo Services

Tennessee's top Republicans are watching a lawsuit meant to strike down the Affordable Care Act with mixed emotions. Tennessee is one of 20 states that joined the litigation led by Texas. The first oral arguments occur in a Fort Worth courtroom today.

But the legal argument justifying another court challenge to the ACA is "as far-fetched as any I've ever heard," Senator Lamar Alexander said in June.

Rates for individual health insurance plans in Tennessee will drop even more than expected next year, after the Trump Administration reversed plans for cutting payments to insurance companies.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, for example, will have average rates that are nearly 15 percent less than this year.

Blake Farmer / WPLN (File photo)

Tennessee's largest health insurer has found a way to bring down rates for individuals who buy plans on the marketplace. The first-ever decrease from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee — which covers roughly half of the individuals on the marketplace — comes even as the Trump Administration added to uncertainty in recent days.

courtesy BCBST

After years of price spikes, the individual health insurance marketplace in Tennessee is showing signs of stabilizing — even though monthly premiums are expected to take another big jump nationally. 

The difference, says Tennessee's largest insurer, is that it already planned for some of the latest changes to the Affordable Care Act.

Lauren Bishop / CDC

A nonpartisan analysis finds that the federal government is shouldering a much larger share of individual health insurance costs in Tennessee. Subsidies for those who buy their own insurance on the federal marketplace have increased by 309 percent since 2014, according to the Sycamore Institute. Premiums, by comparison, have risen 185 percent over the same period.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

Tennessee has joined 20 Republican-led states in asking the courts to overturn the Affordable Care Act. The lawsuit filed in Texas on Monday contends that without the individual mandate, Obamacare is unconstitutional.

TN Photo Services

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander has backed off his demands to add health insurance subsidies for low-income Americans to a year-end spending bill.

Alexander was the co-sponsor of a bipartisan bill that would fund subsidies to insurance companies that offer plans on the marketplace. Another bill addressing Obamacare was co-sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

Nearly half of Tennesseans thought the Affordable Care Act should be repealed as Donald Trump was elected President last November. But Vanderbilt's latest statewide polling finds that number has dropped closer to a third, and hopes for a Republican alternative have also withered over the last year.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

More Tennesseans seem to be buying health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, even though advertising has dropped considerably under the Trump Administration. Open enrollment for 2018 ends Friday at midnight, and the number of applications processed by federally-funded insurance guides — known as navigators — has already surpassed last year. Many enrollees are finding that despite a leap in average price, they are paying less.

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