Managed Care and Low-Income Populations: A Case Study of Managed Care in Tennessee
To gather early insights and timely information for state and federal policymakers concerning how the movement to managed care is affecting the poor and their access to care, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and The Commonwealth Fund are jointly sponsoring case studies and population surveys in five states that are currently restructuring their health care systems for the low-income population: California, Minnesota, New York, Oregon,and Tennessee. TennCare represents one of the most ambitious state-level efforts to restructure Medicaid and expand insurance coverage to the uninsured. The case study shows that the rapid change caused considerable confusion for patients, providers, and health plans. The TennCare experience provides early insights into the issues that states will face as they move to enroll more of their low-income populations into managed care arrangements.