Insurers in the state are declining applications at a rate of 25 percent, according to recent data.
Though there remains nearly a full year before the true health insurance impact of the healthcare reforms goes into effect, a coverage issue has developed in Tennessee, which is affecting one in every four applicants for coverage in the state.
Within Tennessee, there is a rate of applications denied by insurers of 25 percent.
Recent data from the coverage research firm Health Pocket, has identified this trend by health insurance companies to deny applications in the state. This is three percent higher than the national rate, which is currently estimated to be 22 percent. That said, the states bordering Tennessee are considerably higher.
There have been many theories presented about why this health insurance issue has arisen.
In Arkansas, the declination rate was recorded to be 35 percent, whereas the residents of Alabama face a staggering rate of being declined by health insurance companies, at 40 percent. Those states are among the top highest in the country for insurers to deny medical coverage to applicants.
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According to the Health Pocket head of research and data, Kev Coleman, in a press release, “Clearly, there is great variability across states and within states in terms of how frequently an insurer rejects a health insurance application, but nationally it seems to be occurring more frequently than industry analysts had assumed.”
It isn’t yet known whether this trend will continue to increase this year, but there is a concern that insurers may try to increase their rates in order to attempt to compensate for the impact that they feel the healthcare reforms may have on their business.
That said, Coleman did express concern about the trend in the health insurance marketplace for refusing customers. He stated a common speculation about this behavior at the moment, claiming that they may be attempting to improve their risk pool as well as their profitability before 2014’s changes go into effect. At that time, they will be no longer permitted to reject an applicant based on pre-existing medical conditions or current health status.