HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, reports the state of Tennessee is preparing for Cover Tennessee, a 3-part plan proposed by Governor Phil Bredesen to provide insurance coverage to the state's uninsured population. According to the recent Nashville Market Overview, Cover Tennessee's centerpiece initiative is CoverTN, which will offer a basic high-deductible health plan to low income workers with monthly premiums split evenly among individuals, employers and the state.

"With no employer mandate to participate and few details on type of health coverage offered, it's hard to say how many people will opt for CoverTN when signups begin in October 2006," says Patrick Powers, HealthLeaders-InterStudy senior analyst. "If successful, this program would give at least two health plans access to the uninsured population and may ease the burden of charity care felt by hospitals after the un-enrollment of 170,000 previous TennCare members."

The health plans offered by CoverTN will be made available to companies with 50 or fewer employees, with half of those employees earning less than 2.5 times the federal poverty level. According to the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, 61 percent of the state's uninsured work more than 40 hours a week; 53 percent work at companies with fewer than 25 employees.

In addition to CoverTN, this program also includes CoverKids, which insures children under 18 and pregnant women and AccessTN that covers the "uninsurable," those without coverage because of pre-existing conditions. State officials expect 25,000 to 50,000 people to enroll in the Cover Tennessee program during the first three years.

  Other news in the Nashville market:   * AMERIGROUP and UnitedHealthcare were awarded contracts for the middle     Tennessee region in July 2006, as TennCare reverts to a traditional     Medicaid plan targeting the disabled, pregnant and poor families.   * Health systems continue to expand and build new facilities in an effort     to capitalize on the affluent suburban growth, spending almost a billion     dollars in and around the Nashville area.    About Market Overviews 

Market Overviews provide a detailed analysis of local healthcare markets, allowing healthcare businesses to plan their local strategies.

About HealthLeaders-InterStudy

HealthLeaders-InterStudy is the authoritative source for managed care data, analysis, and news. For more information, please visit

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  For more information, contact:   Kelly Morphy   HealthLeaders-InterStudy   615-369-4818 

SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Kelly Morphy of HealthLeaders-InterStudy, +1-615-369-4818,

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