Tennessee | Winter | 2009 | Health Plan Analysis

Tennessee's unemployment rate grew to 8.6 percent in January, and the number of mass layoffs in Tennessee more than doubled in the 2008 fourth quarter compared to a year ago. Things can still get worse with the fate of the large a GM plant and a Bridgestone plant in middle Tennessee still up in the air. Between layoffs and cutbacks in employer-sponsored health benefits, there is an upswing in sales of individual plans and consumer-driven health plan designs. The state is also preparing for potential cutbacks in TennCare (its Medicaid program) while also preparing for an increase in those eligible for the program. It might find some money as a result of a 21-year-old lawsuit that has been finalized. State officials also are rolling out training programs and awarding grants to get providers hooked up to e-prescribing technology, which is still being used for only 3 percent of the prescriptions written in Tennessee.