Bill to support Tennessee children with severe disabilities advances

Mar 21, 2019 by

The House TennCare Subcommittee has advanced a bill that would help support children with severe disabilities who live at home with their families and whose care can leave their parents in financial ruin.

“It’s tough enough having a child that fights for their life everyday, and then you’re trying to fight to get insurance,” said Nashville mom Tori Goddard, whose 6-year-old daughter, Zoey Jones, has severe heart defects and needs 24-hour care to assure her airways remain clear and that she is breathing.

“It’s what we do every day. We fight for our child to live medically, and then we fight with the insurance so they have access to care so they can live,” Goddard said.

The proposed bill introduces a two-part approach to help these families.

Part A would establish a pathway to Medicaid and home-and community-based services for children with disabilities, regardless of parent income and resources.

Part B is designed as a Medicaid diversion plan, meaning enrolled children would not receive TennCare services. Instead, the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities would offer a yet-to-be-specified package of services and assistance with a proposed cap of $15,000 a year per child.

An estimated 3,679 children would potentially be eligible for these services, according to numbers provided by the Tennessee Disability Coalition.

continue: Bill to support Tennessee children with severe disabilities advances


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