Cover Tennessee Gains Popularity

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Knoxville (WVLT) - If you're one of the estimated 800,000 uninsured Tennesseans, we have an update on your newest option.

Cover Tennessee, a partnership between the state and small businesses to help working Tennesseans buy affordable health insurance, begins this month.

And already, 3,500 businesses have pre-qualified.

Once a business qualifies, workers will be eligible to apply for Cover Tennessee through their employer.

The average cost for a worker is expected to be about $50 dollars a month.

The state and employer will each kick in about $50 a month, for a total monthly cost of $150.

Cherokee Health Systems Doctor Dennis Freeman was a member of Governor Phil Bredesen's Safety Net Task Force, which helped develop the plan focusing on workers earning $24,000 a year or less and small businesses.

"I think this is a very innovative approach to that, and it is true, many employers would like to provide coverage for their employees, especially small employers, but they really can't afford their premiums," Dr. Freeman says.