Tennessee Medicaid Terminations
In March 2019, Tennessee launched the TennCare Eligibility Determination System (TEDS), which was designed to streamline enrollment and redeterminations for Tennessee’s Medicaid program. The system’s launch was delayed for many years and plagued by technical setbacks. After its launch, many people’s Medicaid coverage was terminated. The reasons for these cuts are not completely understood, but are likely due to systemic defects—such as issues with interface design, inter-system communication, and underspecified notices to individuals. Advocates also said the redetermination process did not fully meet the accessibility needs of people with disabilities. Instead, it terminated people’s benefits or put them at risk of termination, even though reasonable accommodations should have existed. In 2020, the Tennessee Justice Center and partners filed a class-action lawsuit against the state, A.M.C. v. Smith.
Status of Issue
Litigation against the state is ongoing. The class-action lawsuit represents 35 adults and children across the state, and claims that “TennCare’s system for reevaluating eligibility is defective and fails to provide the notice and opportunity for hearing required by the Medicaid Act and the Constitution” and “TennCare’s eligibility redetermination process discriminates against people with disabilities.”
Links to More Information
NHeLP lawsuit press release with complaint
At least 220,000 Tennessee kids faced loss of health insurance due to lacking paperwork - The Tennessean
Key Parties Involved & Contact
National Health Law Program (NHeLP)
Primary Advocate Contact: Elizabeth Edwards
Tennessee Justice Center
Primary Advocate Contact: Brant Harrell
National Center for Law and Economic Justice
Selendy Gay Elsberg, PLLC
Tennessee’s Division of TennCare
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