TennCare Work Requirements Up for Public Comment
Call to Action

It’s not too late to submit a comment to TennCare about its  work requirements proposal . We are encouraging all to take action by submitting public comments before the October 26 th deadline, one week from today. It’s critical that we submit public comments to inform the decision-making process and to build the case that the work requirement waiver proposal does not promote the objectives of the Medicaid program and should not be approved.

Submit comments by email to   public.notice.tenncare@tn.gov by Friday October 26th

The Tennessee Health Care Campaign has developed a  template  that you can use to submit your comments. Both the THCC ( “TennCare Advocates Toolkit for submitting comments” ) and the Tennessee Justice Center ( “Guidance on Comments for TennCare’s Work Requirements Waiver Proposal” ) have tips and talking points for crafting your comments.
Tips and Talking Points

For those concerned about the proposal's potential mental health impacts for TennCare beneficiaries, consider the following tips and talking points.

  • Tennessean’s eligible for TennCare are disproportionately affected by mental health issues and this proposal puts families at risk of losing mental health care.

  • If you are a NAMI member say so and acknowledge that TennCare is the largest payer for mental health and substance use treatment services in the state.

  • Exemptions are not protections: research and experience show that work requirements impose complex administrative burdens on individuals and families. Many people are at risk of losing their coverage due to confusion or bureaucratic hurdles. For these reasons, even people who are supposed to be exempt may not be able to claim exemption because of these bureaucratic challenges, a particular risk for individuals and families living with mental health conditions or disabilities. Read more >

In the last legislative session, NAMI TN opposed  H.B. 1551   directing Tennessee to seek federal permission to impose work requirements on TennCare beneficiaries as a condition of eligibility. When it passed, we worked alongside other health care advocates to positively influence the implementation of the work requirement waiver “Amendment 38.” And since September 24 th when TennCare put the proposed waiver amendment up for public comment, NAMI TN has encouraged the submission of public comments, maintaining that there is insufficient evidence to support that work requirements will improve health outcomes of TennCare beneficiaries.
#Vote4MentalHealth in Tennessee
In the final weeks of the 2018 election cycle NAMI leaders across the country are encouraging candidates to talk about mental health. We know that the candidates that get elected this November will make the decisions on what mental health services are available in our communities.
With that in mind NAMI’s national office is leading the  #Vote4MentalHealth  campaign designed to: promote our policy priorities; prompt mental health advocates to ask candidates about mental health policy issues; and increase voter turnout.
NAMI has launched  www.vote4mentalhealth.org  to provide tools for NAMI State Organizations and affiliates to engage candidates and voters around important mental health issues. At this website you’ll find resources that include:

  • Questions to ask candidates
  • Sample #Vote4MentalHealth tweets and posts for social media
  • Voter registration links and resources
  • Information on voting rights in each state
  • Tools to talk to candidates about mental health
  • Strategies for mobilizing mental health voters

Questions about   #Vote4MentalHealth , NAMI TN advocacy more generally, or TennCare work requirements? Email Jake Coffey, NAMI TN’s Director of Advocacy and Planning, at jcoffey@namitn.org  or (615) 361-6608