The State of Tennessee announced its waiver program will offer open enrollment opportunities for new applicants needing help with high, unpaid medical bills.
The TennCare Standard Spend Down program will be offered to a limited number of qualified low-income families and individuals. It will be available to people only with high, unpaid medical bills and who are elderly, blind, disabled, or the caretaker and relative of a child eligible for Medicaid. Those who will qualify must have enough unpaid medical bills to meet the limit for coverage.
A call-in phone line has been set up for those interested. The only way to request an application is to call the following toll-free number: 1-866-358-3230. This phone line will be only open between 5:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13.
People who are deaf, hard or hearing, or speech impaired, who need to use a text telephone device, should first call the Tennessee Relay Service at 1-800-848-0298. After they call this number, they will need to enter the TennCare Standard Spend Down program toll-free number: 1-866-358-3230.
Operators will close the phone line after 2,500 applicants call in. The state recommends that interested people call in as soon as the phone lines open. In previous open enrollment times, this total number of calls was reached within the first hour.
If 2,500 calls are not received on the day of Sept. 13, the phone lines will once again from 5:00 pm until 7:30 pm on the following weekdays until this number is reached.
The state said they encourage interested people to check if they are eligible on TennCare's website calling the toll-free number.
A person must meet or make under the following monthly incomes based on size of households.
One person - $241 per month
Two people - $258 per month
Three people - $317 per month
Four people - $325 per month
Five people - $392 per month
Six people - $408 per month
Applicants also must not have resources that exceed $2,000 for a household of one and $3,000 for a family of two. For larger households than two, the state will add another $100 to that limit for every additional person in that family.
A person's unpaid medical bills must have increased in the past 90 days to qualify for the TennCare Standard Spend Down program. If an applicants have paid their medical bills within the past 30 days, this may count towards meeting an applicant's "spend down" requirement.