KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- The TennCare Standard Spend Down program will again offer open enrollment opportunities to new applicants on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011.
Standard Spend Down is available through a waiver to the Medicaid program for a limited number of qualified low income individuals, or those with high, unpaid medical bills who are aged, blind, disabled, or the caretaker relative of a Medicaid eligible child. Eligible individuals must have enough unpaid medical bills to meet the "spend down" threshold to qualify for coverage.
A special call-in phone line through DHS has been set up for interested applicants.
The only way to request an application is by calling the toll-free number -- 1-866-358-3230 -- which will be open between 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. CST on Monday September 12.
The phone lines will be open from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the following weekdays until 2,500 interested applicants call in.
After the first 2,500 calls are taken, the phone lines will be closed. The Tennessee Department of Human Services will send applications to all callers who are not already on TennCare and will review their eligibility for any open Medicaid categories.
Standard Spend Down Eligibility:
·In addition to being aged (65 or older), blind, disabled, or a caretaker relative,
·An individual must meet certain income restrictions, or be able to "spend down" qualifying unpaid medical bills to that limit. (*To be considered blind or disabled, an individual must meet standards set by the Social Security Administration.)
The following chart shows the income limits:
Household Size Monthly Income
Applicants also must NOT have resources that:
· Exceed $2,000 for a family of one and $3,000 for a family of two with an additional $100 added per additional individual in the family.
· A person's unpaid medical bill must have been accrued within the past 90 days. Medical bills paid by the applicant within the past 30 days may count towards meeting an applicant's spend down requirement.