Covering most health services that most Tennesseans need.

Third Quarter 2011

In this issue

Don’t Forget About CoverTN’s 30-Day Enrollment Rule

Employers participating in CoverTN cannot enforce any waiting period (or probationary period) before a new employee becomes eligible for coverage. In fact, CoverTN requires that all new employees must submit an enrollment form to BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST) within 30 days of their hire date. Those who fail to enroll within 30 days of the qualifying event date must wait to sign up during CoverTN’s annual open enrollment period in October. This 30-day enrollment rule also applies to certain other types of applicants. See the Enrollment Timeframe Table below for a complete list of applicants to which this rule applies.

Enrollment Timeframe Table

Type of Applicant

Enrollment Deadline

If 30-Day Enrollment Deadline Missed

New employee

30 days from hire date

Must wait to enroll during open enrollment

Spouse of new hire

30 days from hire date of spouse

Must wait to enroll during open enrollment

Newly eligible employee

  • who now meets the rule to be uninsured for six months prior to enrollment
  • who lost credible health coverage
  • who exhausted COBRA coverage

30 days from eligibility date

Must wait to enroll during open enrollment

Spouse of newly eligible employee

30 days from eligibility date of spouse

Must wait to enroll during open enrollment

New spouse of enrolled employee

30 days from marriage date

Must wait to enroll during open enrollment

Enrollment forms must be submitted within the allotted timeframe or coverage will be denied. Keep in mind that BCBST will also accept enrollment forms up to 45 days prior to the qualifying event date. This allows individuals coming off a health plan to avoid any gap in coverage.

Coverage for applicants enrolling during open enrollment take effect January 1 of the following year. For more information, review the CoverTN Business Owner’s Reference Manual online at
To order a copy of the enrollment form, call Member Services at


Inline ImageInline Image®BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Inc., an Independent Licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee underwrites and administers CoverTN.
*Nurseline and Health Information Library are independent companies or services of independent companies serving CoverTN members.
The information provided is intended to be informative and educational and is not a replacement for professional medical evaluation, advice, diagnostic or treatment by a health care professional.
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