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TennCare diaper, caretaker changes approved as eligibility check nearly complete

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(The Center Square) – Tennessee’s most recent TennCare changes to add a diaper benefit, expand caretaker eligibility for dependent children and enhance home and community services for those with disabilities have been approved and will be part of the program through at least 2030.

The approval allows for coverage for 100 diapers per month per child for children under the age of 2 enrolled in TennCare or CoverKids. TennCare asked the state for $10.9 million in next year’s budget to fund the Diapers for Kids program.

The caretaker eligibility is expanded to low-income parents and caretaker relatives whose incomes exceed the Medicaid income state plan standard up to 100% of the federal poverty level.

The amendments come as Tennessee continues its TennCare unwinding from the federal pandemic pause.

As of April, the state had 1.5 million enrolled in some area of coverage, down from a peak of 1.8 million.

COVID-19 health emergency rules blocked redetermination between March 2020 to March 31 but states were then required to re-start the annual process.

TennCare has estimated the numbers will be closer to 1.3 million participants after the one-year eligibility determination is complete.

The most recently available numbers showed 128,210 participants had their eligibility checked in February with more than 39,000 deemed ineligible, nearly 19,000 pending determination and more than 70,000 retaining eligibility.

Overall, Tennessee has checked the eligibility of more than 1.4 million through February with nearly 877,000 retaining eligibility and nearly 456,000 losing coverage with nearly 80,000 still pending a determination.

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