TennCare hotline reaches 2,500-caller limit in 70 minutes

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 1:27am
Staff reports

Tennesseans who wanted to enroll in a new TennCare waiver for low-income individuals wasted no time hitting the phone lines Monday night.

The Tennessee Department of Human Services opened phone lines at 6 p.m. and closed them just over an hour later at 7:10 p.m. when it reached its 2,500-applicant limit for the first round of the Standard Spend Down program.

The program is a waiver to the state’s TennCare program for individuals who are old, blind, disabled, or the caretaker relative of a Medicaid-eligible child. The program is targeted to individuals who have very low incomes or very high medical bills.

Individuals who called to request an application will be screened to determine if they are already receiving TennCare benefits. Those who are not currently enrolled in TennCare will be sent an application for the program.

The Standard Spend Down category opens enrollment to up to 7,000 new members due to the recently implemented hospital assessment fee.

Once the first round of applications has been processed, the public and the media will be given advance notice before the phone lines reopen.

For more information on the Standard Spend Down program including eligibility requirements, visit the TennCare website at www.tn.gov/tenncare.