Tennessee advocacy groups seek to raise awareness of coming health insurance exchanges

Tennessee Health InsuranceThe full breadth of last year’s health care reform will come into effect beginning in 2014. Many states have yet to take the appropriate steps to conform to new health care regulation set up by the federal government and residents of states are still suffering from a lack of knowledge regarding the coming changes. Tennessee officials have been laboring to teach citizens about health care reform by showing them how the changes will affect their lives. While many in the state may disapprove of the federal reform, Tennessee officials have made it clear that change cannot be avoided this time.

This is the message that was given during an information session this week hosted by Beth Uselton, executive direct of Tennessee Health Care Campaign, a consumer advocacy group. Uselton’s presentation was centered on the notion of a health insurance exchange and how such a system would affect businesses and individuals. Uselton was able to highlight the pros and cons for the system but focused mainly on the fact that there will be an exchange in the state whether anyone wants it or not.

Tennessee has yet to take steps toward establishing an insurance exchange. If the state fails to build a self-sustaining system by 2014, the federal government will step in and build one itself. Uselton notes that she has yet to speak with anyone, whether they be a business or an individual, that favors the notion that the federal government may run the state’s exchange.

To date, the state has received more than $1 million in grants that would help it build an exchange. Thus far, the common consensus amongst advocacy groups is that information on how the system will work and how it will benefit consumers is a major priority.

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