Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will make a stop in Nashville Thursday. She’s on a last-minute tour ahead of the deadline to enroll for health insurance.
Sebelius will make a brief appearance with Nashville Mayor Karl Dean at a clinic in Madison run by United Neighborhood Health Services. The organization has four staffers who do nothing but recruit people for the new health insurance exchanges.
CEO Mary Bufwack says they spend a lot of time outside the clinics looking for enrollees, like at tax preparation sites. She says most don’t realize they may pay a penalty on next year’s taxes if they don’t have coverage.
“We find many there who don’t really understand that there’s a deadline, that don’t really understand that they qualify.”
Bufwack says she welcomes the spotlight Sebelius brings to that deadline.
While in town, a spokesperson says the HHS Secretary does not plan to meet with Governor Bill Haslam. He’s been negotiating with the federal government in search of a way for Tennessee to expand its Medicaid program without the state having to shoulder any of the cost.