by: Jim Spiewak Updated:
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - President Donald Trump signed an executive order allowing insurers to offer less comprehensive plans than required under Obamacare.
This means premiums in West Tennessee could go up by 98%.
Average health costs could rise to over $1,400 a year.
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Thousands in Tennessee could also lose their health insurance. Local clinics could be hit hard as well.
Christ Community is one of the largest federally funded health centers in the country.
Their 330 employees saw 60,000 patients last year.
Because they get federal money, they had to provide care to the 40% of the patients who did not have insurance.
CEO Shantelle Leatherwood said of Trump’s order, “It really is a game changer.”
Leatherwood said people who currently have insurance through Obamacare will not sign back up because the subsidy that was offered to help pay is now gone.
They simply won’t be able to afford that insurance.
The President said new lower cost plans will be available, but Leatherwood said, “Patients will probably look at those plans and make a conscience decision to be uninsured because they are limited.”
That means at Christ Community, they’ll expect to see about 1,000 more patients a month.
Leatherwood expects most of them to be poor and uninsured.
“Our mission is to serve the medically underserved, and we're going to be here to do that,” Leatherwood said.
“The end of the subsidy payment is mean-spirited and could be devastating to many ninth district residents,” said Congressman Steve Cohen.
The change takes effect immediately.
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