The future of TennCare is shadowed by uncertainty, but the people who depend on the state's Medicaid program say they're happy with the mdical service they get.
The University of Tennessee's Center for Business and Economic Research surveyed 5,000 TennCare recipients this summer, and 95 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the medical care they received. TennCare is geared toward providing medical care to 1.2 million Tennesseans, mainly low-income households, the disabled and the elderly.
The CBER study also found 83 percent of people who signed up for TennCare did so because they couldn't afford health insurance. The percentage who said they signed up because they didn't think they needed health insurance fell every year since 2011.
Some health care advocates, including the Tennessee Hospital Association, have been pressuring state lawmakers to expand TennCare to include 140,000 more uninsured people. Without an expansion, Tennessee's hospitals will see Medicaid reimbursements fall by more than $5 billion over the next ten years. Republicans in the General Assembly are generally opposed to expansion, while Governor Bill Haslam has been shopping a compromise plan that he hopes will satisfy both federal officials and his Republican colleagues.
The CBER survey has been conducted annually since 1993. TennCare went live in 1994.