Tennessee's Senate and House of Representatives Wednesday passed slightly different versions of a bill to create Cover Tennessee, a public-private insurance plan for low-income, uninsured residents. The 78-19 House vote, which followed the Senate's 30-1 vote, added a handful of amendments that must pass the Senate. The Senate and Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen are expected to approve the bill, the Associated Press reported. Under the bill, Tennessee would subsidize insurance provided by private contractors. Employers, workers and others eligible to enroll would also pay premiums, which would be set by the state. However, premiums for businesses and enrollees would not rise more than 10% during each of the first three years, under the bill. The legislation did not set eligibility criteria, but an amendment approved by both chambers limited benefits to U.S. citizens or noncitizens eligible for state aid under federal law. One successful House amendment yet to clear the Senate would shelter private insurers from bearing the full risk for the plan until January 2010. -- by Melanie Evans
Tenn. moves ahead with public-private insurance plan
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.