Monday, December 28, 2009


TennCare, oh TennCare, I hate you; you stink.
I wish I could wash you away in the sink!
(my apologies to Shel Silverstein)

Actually, I love TennCare. But we're about to lose it. Ugh.

The gist of the issue is that Becca is technically disabled (because of her birth weight, her extensive hospitalization, her delays, and her significant risks for further delays), so she has been covered by TennCare, Tennessee's Medicaid. Since we have private insurance, TennCare has functioned as our secondary insurance, covering several thousands of dollars of bills each year. A specific court case has settled, allowing the state to purge the TennCare rolls of kids (and adults) who qualify for SSI based on their disability but don't qualify for SSI checks because of their parents' income and/or resources (and, mind you, it's not like our one-income parsonage family generates millions). We are appealing, etc., but the end game is that we'll lose the coverage (unless we are reading the guidelines incorrectly). But yes, this means that the grand old state of Tennessee is taking away health coverage for the most fragile of children because, say, their parents both work, or they own 2 cars, or are responsible people and have more than $6000 in the bank. Because apparently $6000 in the bank will cover the nearly $900,000 in bills Becca has accumulated in the first 18 months of life.

This story about our friends, the Sheppards, explains the situation fairly well. When we lose our coverage our medical bills won't be as great as theirs, but we are looking at some significant expenses, particularly with some extensive ear procedures on the horizon and the likelihood of our losing our WIC eligibility based on this development (remember how much Becca's milk costs?).

So, TennCare, I love you...whatever bureaucracy that is breaking us up...I hate you.


  1. While neither of my children have been as sick as yours I feel you about Tenncare. While I know people who practicially worship Dave Ramsey he has never had a sick child. We finally got on Coverkids right before the cut off on Nov. 30 of course, which is knocking you out of that. But the expense just in gas, etc has taken every bit of extra money we have. It makes no sense at all. So we received my husbands W2 form for 2009 and according to it we should have been on Tenncare stil. Our daughter was actually going to be denied surgery because of Tenncare. Signed Poor in West Tenneessee

  2. I am in the EXACT same situation. If we were stay at home whores that had 4 different baby daddies and never worked we could get all our kids covered and ourselves, and $800/mo in food stamps, plus our child support and cash assistance, and hud rent, daycare assistance etc (it's called "families first". But take the working adults that have a preemie, and lets stick it to pisses me off so much, so unfair. No one understands unless they've walked the walk. I hope your insurance situation improved. I still have no clue what Im gonna do.