TennCare Preparing to Submit a Request to Extend the TennCare Waiver
TennCare is an expansion of the State of Tennessee's Medicaid program, a demonstration program that has operated under a waiver from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) since 1994, and that will expire on June 30, 2013. The principle being "demonstrated" by TennCare is that a state can organize its Medicaid program under a managed care model and generate sufficient savings to extend coverage to additional populations who would not otherwise be eligible for Medicaid, without compromising quality of care. A comprehensive description of the TennCare Demonstration is contained in the TennCare Operational Protocol, which is available here.
In order for the TennCare Demonstration to continue past the expiration date, the State must request an extension no later than June 30, 2012. The duration of the extension being requested is July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2016. The extension request will update obsolete sections of the waiver but will make no significant changes other than the addition of a Transition Plan effectuating certain eligibility changes required by the Affordable Care Act. The Transition Plan is for persons currently enrolled in TennCare who are not eligible for Medicaid. Some of these individuals will become eligible for Medicaid as of January 1, 2014, and must be moved to Medicaid at that time. TennCare does not anticipate any other changes in annual enrollment levels to result from an extension of the waiver.
Public Notice Process
The Bureau of TennCare has taken a variety of steps to ensure that members of the public are aware of the application to extend the TennCare waiver. These measures include the development and maintenance of this web page, as well as published notices in the newspapers of widest circulation in Tennessee cities with 50,000 or more residents and the Tennessee Administrative Register. The Bureau has also discussed the extension of the TennCare waiver in meetings with a variety of stakeholder and advocacy groups in April and May, including Tennessee's Medical Care Advisory Committee. The Bureau notified its Facebook friends and Twitter followers of the waiver extension on May 9, 2012.
Public Input Process
TennCare invites members of the public to offer comments regarding the waiver extension. You may submit comments in a variety of ways. Individuals who wish to share their thoughts in person may attend either of the following events:
Telephonic access to the May 22 public hearing is available for individuals unable to attend in person. To register to participate in this hearing by telephone, please contact Aaron Butler—no later than May 17—at (615) 507-6448 or by email at email@example.com. Individuals with disabilities who wish to participate in a hearing and who may require aid to do so should contact Helen Moore at (615) 507-6474, or at firstname.lastname@example.org, at least five days before the hearing date.
Members of the public who wish to comment on the extension request without attending one of the public hearings may do so through either of the following options:
The Bureau of TennCare always appreciates input. In order for your ideas to be considered for the final draft of the extension application, we must receive them no later than Thursday, June 7. Individuals wishing to view comments submitted by members of the public may contact Mr. Darin Gordon, Director, Bureau of TennCare, electronically at email@example.com, or by mail at 310 Great Circle Road, Nashville, TN 37243.
Draft of Waiver Extension Application
A draft of TennCare's waiver extension application is located here. This comprehensive document consists of eight main parts:
Copies of the waiver extension application are also available in each county office of the Tennessee Department of Human Services. The final draft of the waiver extension application will be available through this Web page following submission to CMS no later than June 29, 2012.
TennCare Page on CMS Web Site
As the federal agency with oversight authority over all Medicaid programs, CMS offers its own online resources regarding the TennCare demonstration. Interested parties may view these materials at http://www.medicaid.gov/Medicaid-CHIP-Program-Information/By-Topics/Waivers/Waivers.html?filterBy=tennessee#waivers