TN healthcare consumers have questions after president's update - WSMV Channel 4

TN healthcare consumers have questions after president's update

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After weeks of frustration with the new healthcare website and outrage over plans being canceled, President Barack Obama is changing course, and many Tennesseans wonder if they will be able to get their old policies back.

Obama said Thursday that insurance companies have another year to keep selling the policies that were about to be outlawed over not providing enough coverage.

At the Vine Hill Medical Clinic, Libby Canard doesn't have any kind of insurance and hasn't had health insurance for 20 years.

She has certainly had some medical problems and wonders if she might have skin cancer.

"There's things now I've wanted to get checked for a long time but haven't done it because I don't have any insurance," she said.

Certified application counselor Cecilia Quintero is spending all of her time trying to get uninsured people like Canard insured through the federal exchange, whether its online or with a paper application.

"We want to get that big push, because if you're enrolled by Dec. 15, your coverage starts Jan. 1, 2014," Quintero said.

That's just a month away, and perhaps it's another deadline that will be changed. But it's hard to imagine that it leaves enough time to get everyone settled with some kind of policy, considering Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that only 106,185 Americans had selected plans through the federal exchange so far.

One of the largest insurers in Tennessee, Blue Cross Blue Shield, released a statement Friday:

"At BlueCross, we've always believed people should be able to choose the plan they think best meets their needs, so we support this effort to let our Individual members and Small Business customers keep their existing coverage. To make this change as quickly as possible, we'll need to work closely with our state regulators to update our policies and review rates to keep these plans available to existing members and small groups. Our Marketplace plans will continue to be an option for our members as well. We remain hopeful that will be fixed to ensure consumers have access to these policies and any subsidies, if eligible."

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