Tennessee Court Rules that State Must Address Backlog of Medicaid ApplicantsImage Banner

Tennessee Court Rules that State Must Address Backlog of Medicaid Applicants

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Tennessee Court Rules that State Must Address Backlog of Medicaid Applicants

September 4, 2014

On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered Tennessee's state Medicaid program to hold hearings for people who have waited for months to see whether they will be covered under the state's plan. The case was brought by a coalition of civil rights groups on behalf of 11 people who applied for coverage through TennCare and allege that the state did not review their applications promptly. The judge ordered TennCare to hold hearings for the plaintiffs and also granted class-action status to the lawsuit, which opens it up for potentially hundreds of additional state residents. Class members are those whose initial applications were not answered within 45 days for people without disabilities, and 90 days for people with disabilities. 

State officials blamed processing delays on the federal government, since TennCare applicants have been sent over to the federally-run health care marketplace. The court did not accept that reason for the delays, writing in its ruling that the state has the responsibility to ensure that applications are handled promptly. 

Court documents are available for viewing and download here

Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press