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No Health Insurance Marketplace Competition In UC

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

Every Tennessee county will have competition in the health insurance marketplace next year except for the 14 counties of the Upper Cumberland.

Only Blue Cross Blue Shield will continue to provide insurance here. The marketplace serves residents under the terms of the Affordable Care Act. Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Communications Director Kevin Walters said the state encourages competition.

“The biggest challenge for carriers in the Upper Cumberland is likely the ability to build networks, the lack of a hospital chain having multiple facilities in the Upper Cumberland makes it hard for those carriers who have the hospital based system,” Walter said.

Walters said the state recognizes the issue with no competition in the Upper Cumberland. But he said there’s nothing the state can do to encourage it.

“Unfortunately, you know, the situation is that, you know, the we we try to encourage competition all over the state, you know, and unfortunately the situation in the Upper Cumberland is the biggest challenge,” Walters said.

The state approved a 9.8 percent rate hike for Blue Cross Blue Shield next year. Federal officials must still approve that move before open enrollment begins in November.

“Every rate increase is vetted by our actuaries,” Walters said.

United Health Care will join the marketplace for the first time in the Nashville, Memphis, Jackson and Chattanooga metro areas. Blue Cross Blue Shield remains the only company to serve residents statewide.


The post No Health Insurance Marketplace Competition In UC appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.