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TennCare II - Amendment 38

Jan 23rd 2019 12:12 pm Response: #399605 1) It is my understanding that there is a minimal number of TennCare participants that will not be exempt from these new work requirements. It is troubling to think we will take TANF funds to fund the costs of this initiative which is not predicted to generate any great savings for Tennessee.

2) I do not believe we should embrace a proposal with so much left to be defined at some later date. The TennCare responses to their own comment period input are full of references to "framework," "intends," "continue to design" and "as the program is operationalized." Lives are at stake - exempt families will face "undefined" requirements to establish and retain their exempt status in a state with pockets without broadband service, areas of low-educated populations and communities with low-economic / employment conditions.
Jan 24th 2019 11:44 am Response: #399613 RE: TennCare Waiver Amendment 38
Dear Secretary Azar,
I am submitting the following comments in response to the public notice inviting public comments on proposed Waiver Amendment 38. My name is Marian Varner, and I am a resident of Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
I am opposed to this proposal that people who are not employed would not be able to have health care coverage. The paperwork to demonstrate compliance would be a burden to many people, and cost the state more money than the health care coverage would. This would negatviely affect the health of certain Tennesseeans who already have limited incomes. It would also cost taxpayers such as me extra money.
For these reasons, I ask that you not implement this proposed regulation.
Marian Varner,
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Jan 24th 2019 1:10 pm Response: #399617 I am opposed to the proposed work requirement for TN Medicaid recipients. People on Medicaid would be required to submit paper work few would be able to complete online when TN has poor access to internet in rural areas . This would be an additional cost to the state at a time when the governor has already asked all departments to examine how they would cut 2 % from their budgets. The proposal makes no sense from a fiscal or humanitarian point of view.
Jan 24th 2019 2:22 pm Response: #399621 I do not believe that this amendment will provide any benefit to TennCare recipients or to our society at large. As a medical provider who sees these patients and their children routinely I know that they are struggling in many ways, and the work requirement is burdensome rather than helpful, with the children involved being those most negatively affected.
Jan 24th 2019 3:50 pm Response: #399625 This seems to be a proposal to throw people off of TennCare by imposing impossible to document requirements. It also appears that it would cost the state way more money than it saves having to employ a bunch of people to document whether someone is working or not. This is NOT the way to create jobs in our state! In other words, this is just a bad idea all around. I urge you to deny this change to TennCare.
Jan 24th 2019 9:44 pm Response: #399629 I understand the importance of people who can work, are able to find suitable employment, and have the needs of their family members met is important. Also, the wise use of state and federal funding is imperative. But, when changes to a program, such as those currently proposed to TennCare, make little sense when the cost and manpower exceed tremendously the cost savings within the program. Many people do not have access and/or have none to little understanding of how computers work and response systems. Their responses may also end up being written/submitted by others who have no interest in the individuals or are voicing their views rather than the TennCare recipients. The $ spent on implementation and oversight make no sense for the outcome.
Jan 25th 2019 11:19 am Response: #399637 The vast majority of TennCare recipients are children, parents or other caretaker relatives, seniors, and people with disabilities. This would put coverage in danger for many of those people.
Jan 25th 2019 11:28 am Response: #399641 The implementation of Medicaid work requirements in Arkansas clearly demonstrates the pitfalls associated with such a policy. Since these requirements went into effect in September 2018, over nearly 18,000 Medicaid beneficiaries in the state have lost their coverage.
Jan 25th 2019 11:34 am Response: #399645 The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) have attempted to justify allowing these waivers by citing data indicating that people with jobs have better health outcomes than those without jobs. This is disingenuous, as it assumes that working makes people healthier, when in fact those who are healthy are more likely to be able to work. In fact, a study cited by CMS in its new guidance on work requirements stated that “interventions which simply force claimants off benefits are more likely to harm their health and well-being.”
Jan 25th 2019 11:37 am Response: #399649 Most working Medicaid enrollees say having Medicaid makes it easier for them to work and be better at their jobs.
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