A temporary change in federal policy will free up millions of dollars for TennCare.
Some enrollees in the state’s Medicaid-waver program are also on Medicare. Rather than pay twice for benefits covered by both, the federal government requires the state to give back some of its TennCare funds.
Now, several installments of those payments will be forgiven.
Darin Gordon is the deputy commissioner in charge of TennCare. He says the reprieve will save $120 million.
Gordon says he will recommend to the governor that the money be used to shore up places in TennCare where patients would otherwise suffer.
“As we go each year further into this, the more severe and difficult the cuts become. And so obviously I would look at the most recent cuts, first and foremost. Obviously there’s not enough money to address all of them, because if you totaled them all together, you’re looking at somewhere in the neighborhood for $450 million, plus.”
Gordon told the legislature’s TennCare Oversight Committee the money from the policy change is a sure thing. TennCare reserves are being drawn upon for a two hundred million dollar contribution to the rest of the budget.
Our previous story on the TennCare budget issue is here.