TennCare to restart renewals

(TennCare press release) Last week, Congress passed legislation which will end the Medicaid continuous enrollment requirement related to the COVID-19 pandemic on April 1, 2023. At that time TennCare will be required to reverify the eligibility status of everyone receiving TennCare or CoverKids benefits. One of TennCare’s top priorities during this process is to make sure all eligible members do not risk a gap in health care coverage.

Per federal requirements, the ending of the continuous enrollment requirement will represent the first time in three years that Medicaid and CHIP members will go through the renewal process, and it will be one of the most substantial health coverage processes around the country. For Tennessee, the legislation means that more than 1.7 million Tennesseans will be impacted by this process. It is imperative that TennCare and CoverKids members update their contact information with TennCare and respond to all TennCare communication.

Over a twelve-month period, TennCare will review every member’s eligibility and, where approved by state or federal rules, use available data sources, such as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) income data and Supplementation Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) information, to automatically renew members. If TennCare cannot auto-renew a person’s coverage using available and approved data sources, the member will receive a pre-populated renewal packet by mail or a notification by email, depending on the selected preference. TennCare and its partner health plans will also use texts, email, and social media when available to enhance outreach efforts. A member will be able to complete the renewal packet through a variety of ways: Online, by phone, by mail, by fax, or at any county Department of Human Services (DHS) office.

For members no longer eligible for TennCare or CoverKids benefits, TennCare will send their information to the federal Health Care Marketplace, as required by CMS, where alternative health insurance options are available.

For nearly three years, TennCare has carefully planned for the end of the PHE and the resumption of renewals. The agency worked to improve TennCare Connect, the online portal where members can update their information and renew their coverage, as well as improved the mobile application for easier document submission.

TennCare has also worked to increase the number of members who can be approved through the auto-renewal process. TennCare initiated several campaigns to encourage members to update their contact information and worked closely with health plans, advocates and providers to ensure that members completed this important step. TennCare has created a public toolkit for stakeholders to continue to maximize awareness of the renewal process. The toolkit and other resources can be found here: https://www.tn.gov/tenncare/information-statistics/unwinding-the-phe-for-partners/phase-ii–educate.html.

TennCare has been and is committed to making the renewal process as easy and user-friendly as possible so that those eligible can continue to receive TennCare benefits, but it is a critical requirement for Tennesseans who receive these benefits to participate in the process by updating their contact information and responding to all TennCare communication. To prepare for the renewal process, TennCare members should verify that their address is up-to-date by logging in to www.TennCareConnect.tn.gov or by calling 855-259-0701. Information for members can be found at: www.tn.gov/tenncare/renewals.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:30 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, and cats Oliver, Bow and Libby.

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