CoverTN Ends, Leaving Thousands Uninsured

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(Memphis) While many of you are counting down to the new year, 16,000 Tennesseans are going to wake up Wednesday with no health insurance.

The State provided health insurance CoverTN ends because the Affordable Care Act takes effect.

It means many of the working poor will need to find another healthcare option.

The Church Health Center that serves the "working uninsured" expects to see a lot more patients now that CoverTN no longer exists.

“Many of those people will come to the Church Health Center because they are the very people we treat,” said CEO Dr. G Scott Morris. “Many of them are not aware, I am sure, that they are losing their coverage.”

Dr. Morris says these working poor will be left uncovered because the State of Tennessee chose not to expand Medicaid, as called for by the Affordable Care Act.

It means if you live alone and make between $11,500 and $16,000, you will not be qualified for Medicaid or healthcare subsidies if you live in the volunteer state.

With CoverTN ending, it means thousands of people will now rely on places like the Church Health Center that offers free healthcare to people who work at least 20 hours a week but don’t have health insurance.

“Nobody needs to be blaming Washington about this. It really is about the State of Tennessee and how we are dealing with the poorest people in our community.”

Dr. Morris says it’s exactly why the Church Health Center exists: to provide healthcare to the people who fall through the gaps.

“It’s sad that we cannot address these issues because these are the very people who work to make our lives comfortable. They shine your shoes, cook your food and one day will dig your grave.”

He says all of them deserve an affordable trip to the doctor.


  • Joe

    if it was affordable……it would matter……the issue is this……they cant or wont buy insurance

    they wont pay…period……unless you subsidize it down to 5 bucks a month

    this pool of people wants it for free……they always have

  • Joe

    as Clint would say….”deserving’s got nothing to do with it….”

    healthcare is not a right……you earn it and pay for it…..period

  • Joe

    you wanna work 20 hours a week or less? of course you do…you just wanna get by

    fine…but ur not gonna get freebies cause you want to watch Oprah and Maury

  • SeekAndYouShallFind

    Why didn’t they sign up for ACA. They knew several months ago that their coverage would end today. Why sit on your a@s and let your insurance expire, then go to the media for propaganda. If they tried and the system failed then there is a real problem. Some has neen relying to the government to carr them too long. Next the government should eliminate the free cellphone.

  • Janis Hoesel

    If you factor in that this affects a lot of older citizens who are not old enough for medicare and a lot of people who work service jobs such as retail,restuarant, hotels, fast food convenience stores,part time banking jobs museum, movies,among others you will see a lot of the problem lies with the state of Tennessee failing to bring full time employment to the state and the employers paying a living wage. That is exactly why a lot of our population is poor and looking to relocate if they can. Add to that ridiculous prices for health care or ins. and you see why people need a safety net. Why did the state of Tennessee not expand Medicaid? It is only common sense. Do you want a roof over your head and food to eat or pay a ridiculous health ins. premium. It is about survival, and it is really ridiculous for Tennessee not to expand Medicaid for it’s citizens, most of whom are taxpayers.City, county, state and federal.

    • SeekAndYouWillFind

      Age, economic status, part-time, or full time is not reason not to apply for healthcare through the marketplace. Nor is excuses. Do your own research before you say the system is not meeting your needs.

  • Beth U.

    I want to offer a correction to a good article: Individuals with incomes over $11,490/year or 100% of the poverty level WILL qualify for subsidies and tax credits to help make new private insurance options affordable to them through the marketplace. People living the range cited in the article would have been eligible for TennCare expansion, but without it, are the only lucky ones that can instead still qualify for the subsidies the in marketplace. It is people living BELOW this income level that will be left out because of the state’s decision not to expand Medicaid.

    If you don’t fit into an existing category of Medicaid (elderly, blind, disabled, child or relative caretaker of a child on TennCare), then you are out of luck unless our political leaders make the choice to accept federal funding to expand TennCare.

  • SeekAndYouWillFind

    I am elderly and I qualified for the health care through the marketplace. I dont’ think many people are actually tried to get insurance through the market place. Try first then complain about the system. Secondly, if some have been falsefying their income, then they have af reason not to apply through the marketplace.

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