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TennCare changes: Three plans to offer statewide coverage in 2015

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -

When Tennessee launched TennCare in January 1994, the switchboard at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee was so overwhelmed on the first day of enrollment that operators couldn't even answer all the calls, let alone respond to the applicants' questions.

As the state's biggest managed care organization — and the sponsor of the toll-free phone number for TennCare inquiries — BlueCross was inundated with questions about the new privately operated Medicaid plan.

"It practically shut down the switchboard for the entire company," said Amber Cambron, a 26-year BlueCross veteran who is now chief operating officer for BlueCross's TennCare program. "Everybody here at the time was used to primarily commercial business and group accounts, and to have all these members call in at once — some of whom couldn't read and many of whom were in desperate financial shape — was a real recognition that this was a very different population and a very different business."

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