TennCare Standard Spend Down Program to Open Enrollment says Senator Gresham

(NASHVILLE, TN), September 6, 2011 — State Senator Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) said she is pleased TennCare Standard will offer enrollment opportunities to new applicants and advised qualified applicants to make application as soon as telephone lines are open. Gresham said the TennCare Standard Spend Down program will take enrollment applications Monday, Sept. 12, 2011 beginning at 6 p.m. CST to a limited number of qualified low income individuals, or those with high unpaid medical bills who are aged, blind, disabled, or the caretaker relative of a Medicaid-eligible child.

“This is good news for qualified low-income individuals or those with very high medical bills who are not already on TennCare and who need the opportunity to be enrolled in the program,” said Senator Gresham. “There is limited enrollment so it is very important that applicants contact the Department immediately when the lines open.”

Eligible individuals must have enough unpaid medical bills to meet the “spend down” threshold to qualify for coverage. A special call-in phone line through DHS has been set up for interested applicants. The only way to request an application is by calling the toll-free number — 1-866-358-3230 — which will be open between 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. CST on Sept.12. The toll-free number system is used to ensure equal access to Tennessee citizens interested in this program. After the first 2,500 calls are taken, the phone lines will be closed.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to check eligibility qualifications before calling in. More information on the Standard Spend Down program and more detailed eligibility criteria are available on TennCare’s website: www.tn.gov/TennCare.

The Tennessee Department of Human Services will send applications to all callers who are not already on TennCare and will review their eligibility for any open Medicaid categories and the newly opened Standard Spend Down category. Advanced notifications will be made to the public and other stakeholders prior to subsequent openings of the application request line.

Legislation called for the “expansion of the Standard Spend Down category for TennCare enrollment up to a maximum of seven thousand (7,000) individuals in FY 2010-2011.” The program will continue to open and close on a rolling basis.


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