Mandate to Up TennCare Costs

Tennessee budget officials have issued a cautious warning to the administration and legislators.

The individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, requiring the purchase of health insurance, is expected to increase the number of people signing up for TennCare. People who have been eligible, but have not signed up, will be signing up when the requirement to purchase health insurance is in place. This will put an additional strain on the state budget, given the state match of the federal Medicaid money.

This will happen regardless of whether the state decides to expand TennCare to cover people with incomes above the poverty level, according to the state Funding Board, the group that offers budget projections.