TN-Expanding Medicaid so Everyone Has Options by Timena of Cordova

I am a health insurance producer working for an Independent Health Insurance Agency with a contract to offer all plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace. I have been working in the health care industry for 19 years. I have worked in the hospital administrative setting for most of these years. In the last 7 years I have worked as a Health Benefits Consultant, Enrollment Counselor and now, Market Director. My decision to become a licensed Health Insurance Producer was influenced by the needs of the community to become better educated about health insurance and what it is and the importance of having it. Many people do not obtain health insurance because they do not understand how it works. It is not only my job to assist in the enrollment of a health insurance plan but to also explain the benefits of the plan in which one chooses.

I decided to write about this issue after encountering many working people who were unable to qualify for a tax credit premium due to their income being too low. Their income was too high for Medicaid, but not enough to get help on paying their premium with a plan on the marketplace. Each time a person in this situation approached me and I was not able to help them, left me filling empty. I wanted so badly to do something to give them some type of hope that everything would be ok and shared other resources with them, like the community clinics. Their reaction was one of rejection and the feeling that no one cared about them. Who does care about the millions of people who fall in this situation? I strongly believe that if you are a working class citizen and you are attempting to do something for yourself, like obtain health insurance coverage, then we should be doing our part to help.
Many people are being left out of the chance to obtain quality health insurance due to their income. All families should be given the opportunity to have affordable health insurance with great benefits. Why? Because they work hard every day and deserve it. For those who are not working, extend the community clinics to them, but for those who are working and trying, I request that Governor Haslam extend to them the opportunity to gain the security of health insurance coverage through Obamacare.

By Timena Toliver of Cordova
Submitted to: Tennessean
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