TennCare enrollees could lose some benefits

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- TennCare officials say relief from a 20-year-old lawsuit is critical for enrollees to maintain their benefits at a time when Gov. Phil Bredesen is looking to make deep cuts to address a revenue shortfall.

The state's expanded Medicaid program was among the departments that met before the governor on Monday as he continued his budget hearings. Bredesen is asking each department for additional cuts of as much as 15 percent to take care of a shortfall of potentially $800 million this year.

TennCare director Darin Gordon says the state has asked the courts for relief from a class action lawsuit that prohibits them from re-evaluating about 180,000 people on TennCare who may not be eligible for coverage.

Without the relief, TennCare is looking to cut about a billion dollars, which officials say could mean the loss of some enrollee benefits.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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