State Helps Unemployed Find Health Insurance

by Lesley Politi on November 12, 2008

 State Helps Unemployed Find Health Insurance

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The increasingly rocky economy and the higher state unemployment rate have pushed Tennessee to expand one of its health insurance programs.

Workers who have lost their jobs now have a reasonable option for health insurance.

CoverTN is responding during the current economic downturn.

This is welcome news to individuals such as Robert Mueller.

Nearly four months ago, Mueller found himself in the same predicament as 10 million Americans – out of work. The truck driver is searching for a new job.

“The economy was slowing down. The prices were skyrocketing for the fuel in trucks,” he said.

When he lost his job, he also lost his health insurance. He said getting insurance now is just not an option.

“I can’t afford it number one,” he said.

For information about Cover Tennessee, which is voluntary health insurance coverage divided into four components including CoverTN, a partnership between the state, employers and individuals to provide affordable health care coverage.

In response to the state’s growing unemployment rate, the state insurance program Cover T N has extended its eligibility to workers who recently lost their jobs.

“We decided that with the downturn in the economy we needed to make sure those people, who have lost their health insurance through a job loss, have that same option to get health insurance,” said Tennesseans Between Jobs Director spokeswoman Stephani Ryan.

Since program started in September, more than 2,000 people have inquired about Tennesseans Between Jobs.

Benefits with the program have been increased for next year, and they’re doing this without raising premiums. 

“We were able to double those office visits and now offer folks 12 office visits regardless of the plan they’re choosing,” Ryan said.

Ryan said the state budgeted for roughly 40,000 people to participate in the program. More than 15,000 people are enrolled in the program.


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