Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-13-13-.02 - ELIGIBILITY

(1) Delineation of agency roles and responsibilities.
(a) The Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration (F&A) is the lead State agency for the TennCare Program.
(b) The Bureau of TennCare (Bureau) is the administrative unit within F&A with the responsibility for day-to-day operations of the TennCare Program. The Bureau is responsible for establishing policy and procedural requirements and criteria for TennCare.
1. With respect to the eligibility of children applying for TennCare as medically eligible persons, the Bureau is responsible for determining the presence of a qualifying medical condition under TennCare Standard.
2. With respect to the eligibility of individuals applying for the TennCare CHOICES program, the Bureau is responsible for determining that the individual meets level of care eligibility criteria for the long-term care services or reimbursement requested. For enrollment into CHOICES Group 2, the Bureau is also responsible for determining the state's ability to provide appropriate Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) as determined by the availability of slots under the established enrollment target in accordance with Rule 1200-13-01-.05 and for confirming a determination by an Area Agency on Aging and Disability or TennCare Managed Care Organization that:
(i) The individual is an adult aged sixty-five (65) or older, or an adult aged twenty-one (21) or older with physical disabilities; and
(ii) Such individual can be safely and appropriately served in the community and at a cost that does not exceed the individual's cost neutrality cap pursuant to Rule 1200-13-01-.05.
3. With respect to the eligibility of individuals applying for the ECF CHOICES program, the Bureau is responsible for determining that the individual meets all applicable eligibility and enrollment criteria, including target population, medical or level of care eligibility, categorical and financial eligibility, the state's ability to provide appropriate ECF HCBS (as defined in Rule 1200-13-01-.02 ) as determined by the availability of slots under the established enrollment target for each ECF CHOICES Group in accordance with Rule 1200-13-01-.31 and pursuant to intake and enrollment policies and processes described in 1200-13-01-.31 and in TennCare policies and protocols, and for confirming a determination by a TennCare Managed Care Organization that the individual can be safely and appropriately served in the community and at a cost that does not exceed the individual's expenditure cap pursuant to Rule 1200-13-01-.31.
(c) The Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) is under contract with the Bureau to determine initial eligibility for TennCare Medicaid and TennCare Standard, as well as to redetermine, at regular intervals, whether eligibility should be continued. DHS is not responsible for making decisions about the presence of a qualifying medical condition for those applying as medically eligible persons under TennCare Standard.
(d) The Social Security Administration determines eligibility for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program. Tennessee residents determined eligible for SSI benefits are automatically eligible for and enrolled in TennCare Medicaid benefits.
(e) The Tennessee Department of Health (DOH) determines presumptive eligibility under TennCare Medicaid for pregnant women and for women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer through administration of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program.
(2) Delineation of TennCare enrollee's responsibilities.
(a) It is the responsibility of each TennCare enrollee to report to the DHS any material change affecting any information given by the applicant/enrollee to DHS at the time of application or redetermination of his eligibility. This information includes, but is not limited to, changes in address, income, family size, employment, or access to insurance. The applicant/enrollee shall mail, or present in person, documentation of any such change to the DHS county office where the enrollee resides. This documentation must be presented within the time frame specified in Chapter 1240-01-16 of the rules of DHS.
(b) It is the responsibility of each TennCare enrollee to report to his provider that he is a TennCare enrollee.
(3) Technical and financial eligibility requirements for TennCare Medicaid. To be eligible for TennCare Medicaid, each individual must:
(a) Meet all technical requirements applicable to the appropriate category of medical assistance as described in the DHS - Division of Medical Services rule 1240-03-03-.02, and all financial eligibility requirements applicable to the appropriate category of medical assistance as described in the DHS - Division of Medical Services rule 1240-03-03-.03; or
(b) Meet the financial eligibility requirements of the SSI Program of the Social Security Administration and be approved for SSI benefits by the Social Security Administration; or
(c) Be a woman who:
1. Is under age sixty-five (65);
2. Is uninsured or has health insurance that does not provide coverage for treatment of breast or cervical cancer;
3. Is not eligible for Medicaid;
4. Is a U.S. citizen or qualified alien; and
5. Has been diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer, including a Precancerous condition, by a screening at a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) site, and who needs treatment.
(4) General application requirements.
(a) By applying for TennCare Medicaid, an applicant agrees to provide information to the Bureau, or its designee, about any third party coverage. MCCs shall release insurance information from their files to the Bureau of TennCare on a regular basis, as required by contract between the MCCs and the Department of Finance and Administration.
(b) By applying for TennCare Medicaid, an applicant grants permission and authorizes release of information to the Bureau, or its designee, to investigate any and all information provided, or any information not provided if it could affect eligibility, in order to determine TennCare eligibility; and, if approved, the amount of, if any, cost sharing which may be required of the applicant as found in these rules. Information may be verified through, but not limited to, the following sources:
1. The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS);
2. State income tax records for Tennessee or any other state where income is earned;
3. The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and other employment security offices within any state where the applicant may have received wages or been employed;
4. Credit bureaus;
5. Insurance companies; or
6. Any other governmental agency or public or private source of information where such information may impact an applicant's eligibility or cost sharing requirements for the TennCare Program.
(c) By applying for TennCare, an applicant understands it is a felony offense, pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 71-5-2601, to obtain TennCare coverage under false means or to help anyone get on TennCare under false means.
(5) Current eligibility groups under TennCare Medicaid.
(a) Eligibility for TennCare Medicaid is currently limited to individuals who are Tennessee residents as defined at 42 C.F.R. § 435.403, Tennessee Code Annotated § 71-5-120, and who are listed in DHS rule Chapter 1240-03-02, Coverage Groups under Medicaid.
1. Individuals enrolled as Categorically Needy, as defined at rule 1200-13-13-.01.
2. Individuals enrolled as Medically Needy, as defined at rule 1200-13-13-.01. Enrollment in this category is limited to pregnant women and children under the age of twenty-one (21). Eligibility for this category shall be for a period of one (1) year. At the end of that year, eligibility must be reestablished in order for these individuals to continue in the program. For non-pregnant individuals who are under age 21, eligibility in this category shall end when the individual reaches his twenty-first birthday or the individual reaches the end of his one (1) year eligibility, whichever comes first.
3. Individuals who are determined eligible for the SSI Program by the Social Security Administration.
4. Women who have been enrolled as a result of needing treatment for breast or cervical cancer and who meet the technical requirements found at 1200-13-13-.02(3)(c).
(b) Effective date of eligibility.
1. For SSI eligibles, the date determined by the Social Security Administration in approving the individual for SSI coverage.
2. For all other Medicaid eligibles, the date of the application or the date of the qualifying event (such as the date that a spend-down obligation is met), whichever is later.
3. For persons applying for Medicaid eligibility during a period when the DHS offices are not open, the date the faxed application is received at DHS.
(6) Redetermination of TennCare Medicaid eligibility.
(a) Enrollees eligible for TennCare Medicaid as a result of being eligible for SSI benefits shall follow the Redetermination requirements of the Social Security Administration.
(b) An enrollee who qualifies for TennCare Medicaid through DHS shall have his TennCare Medicaid eligibility redetermined as required by the appropriate category of medical assistance as described in Chapter 1240-03-03 of the rules of DHS - Division of Medical Services. Prior to termination of Medicaid eligibility for enrollees of the Core Medicaid Population, eligibility will be reviewed in accordance with the following process:
1. At least thirty (30) days prior to the expiration of their current eligibility period, the Bureau of TennCare will send a Request for Information to all Core Medicaid enrollees. The Request for Information will include a form to be completed with information needed to determine eligibility for open Medicaid categories.
2. Enrollees will be given thirty (30) days inclusive of mail time from the date of the Request for Information to return the completed form to DHS and to provide DHS with the necessary verifications to determine eligibility for open Medicaid categories.
3. Enrollees with a health problem, mental health problem, learning problem or a disability will be given the opportunity to request assistance in responding to the Request for Information. Enrollees with Limited English Proficiency will have the opportunity to request translation assistance for responding to the Request for Information.
4. If an enrollee provides some but not all of the necessary information to DHS to determine his eligibility for open Medicaid categories during the thirty (30) day period following the Request for Information, DHS will send the enrollee a Verification Request. The Verification Request will provide the enrollee with ten (10) days inclusive of mail time to submit any missing information as identified in the Verification Request.
5. Enrollees who respond to the Request for Information within the thirty (30) day period shall retain their eligibility for TennCare Medicaid (subject to any changes in covered services generally applicable to enrollees in their Medicaid category) while DHS reviews their eligibility for open Medicaid categories.
6. Enrollees who respond to the Request for Information or the Verification Request after the requisite time period specified in those notices but before the date of termination shall retain their eligibility for TennCare Medicaid while DHS reviews their eligibility for open Medicaid categories. If DHS determines that the enrollee remains eligible for his current Medicaid category, the enrollee will remain enrolled in such Medicaid category. If DHS makes a determination that the enrollee is eligible for a different open Medicaid category, DHS will so notify the enrollee and the enrollee will be enrolled in the new appropriate TennCare Medicaid category. When the enrollee is enrolled in the appropriate TennCare Medicaid category, his eligibility in the previous category shall be terminated without additional notice. If a child is reviewed for Medicaid eligibility and is found not to be eligible for any open Medicaid category, the child will be reviewed for eligibility for TennCare Standard under rule 1200-13-14-.02. If DHS makes a determination that the enrollee is not eligible for any open Medicaid categories, the TennCare Bureau will send the enrollee a twenty (20) day advance Termination Notice.
7. Individuals may provide the information and verifications specified in the Request for Information after termination of eligibility. DHS shall review all such information pursuant to the rules, policies and procedures of DHS and the Bureau of TennCare applicable to new applicants for TennCare Medicaid coverage. The individual shall not be entitled to be reinstated into TennCare Medicaid pending this review. If the individual is subsequently determined to be eligible for an open Medicaid category, he shall be granted retroactive coverage to the date of application, or in the case of spend down eligibility for Medically Needy pregnant women and children, to the latter of (a) the date of the application, or (b) the date spend down eligibility is met.
(c) A woman who has been determined eligible for TennCare Medicaid under 1200-13-13-.02(3)(c) of these rules shall annually recertify her eligibility in terms of continuation of active treatment, her address, and access to health insurance. If she is found to no longer be eligible through this review, the enrollee will be reviewed using the Redetermination process set forth in 1200-13-13-.02(6)(b) of these rules.
(7) Termination of eligibility.
(a) Eligibility for TennCare Medicaid shall cease when:
1. The individual no longer qualifies for TennCare Medicaid pursuant to Chapter 1240-03-03 of the rules of DHS; or
2. A woman determined eligible under 1200-13-13-.02(3)(c) of these rules:
(i) Reaches age sixty-five (65); or
(ii) Gains access to group health insurance that provides coverage for treatment of breast or cervical cancer as defined elsewhere in these rules; or
(iii) It has been determined that she no longer needs treatment for breast or cervical cancer, including pre-cancerous conditions.
(b) The TennCare Bureau will send Termination Notices to all Core Medicaid Population enrollees being terminated pursuant to state and federal law who are not determined to be eligible for open Medicaid categories pursuant to the Request for Information processes described herein.
(c) Termination Notices will be sent twenty (20) days in advance of the date upon which the coverage will be terminated.
(d) Termination Notices will provide enrollees with forty (40) days from the date of the notice to appeal the termination and will inform enrollees how they may request a hearing. Appeals will be processed by DHS in accordance with rule 1200-13-13-.12.
(e) Enrollees with a health problem, mental health problem, learning problem or a disability will be given the opportunity to request additional assistance for their appeal. Enrollees with Limited English Proficiency will have the opportunity to request translation assistance for their appeal.
(8) Disenrollment related to discontinued Medicaid categories.

Prior to the disenrollment of any enrollee in a discontinued Medicaid category based on coverage terminations resulting from TennCare Medicaid Eligibility Reforms, Medicaid eligibility shall be reviewed in accordance with the following:

(a) Ex Parte Review.

DHS will conduct an ex parte review for open Medicaid categories for all enrollees in eligibility groups due to be terminated as part of the TennCare Medicaid eligibility reforms. Such ex parte review shall be conducted in accordance with federal requirements as set forth by CMS in the Special Terms and Conditions of the TennCare demonstration project.

(b) Request for Information.
1. At least thirty (30) days prior to the expiration of their current eligibility period, the Bureau of TennCare will send a Request for Information to enrollees in eligibility groups being terminated pursuant to TennCare Medicaid eligibility reforms. The Request for Information will include a form to be completed with information needed to determine eligibility for open Medicaid categories, as well as a list of the types of proof needed to verify certain information.
2. Enrollees will be given thirty (30) days inclusive of mail time from the date of the Request for Information to return the completed form to DHS and to provide DHS with the necessary verifications to determine eligibility for open Medicaid categories.
3. Enrollees with a health problem, mental health problem, learning problem or a disability will be given the opportunity to request assistance in responding to this Request for Information. Enrollees with Limited English Proficiency will have the opportunity to request translation assistance for responding to the Request for Information.
4. Enrollees will be given an opportunity until the date of termination to request one extension for good cause of the thirty (30) day time frame for responding to the Request for Information. The good cause extension is intended to allow a limited avenue for possible relief for certain enrollees who face significant unforeseen circumstances, or who, as a result of a health problem, mental health problem, learning problem, disability, or limited English proficiency, are unable to respond timely. The good cause exception does not confer an entitlement upon enrollees and the application of this exception will be within the discretion of DHS. Only one (1) thirty (30) day good cause extension can be granted to each enrollee. Good cause is determined by DHS eligibility staff. Good cause is not requested nor determined by filing an appeal. Requests for an extension of the thirty (30) day time frame to respond to the Request for Information must be initiated by the enrollee. However, the enrollee may receive assistance in initiating such request. DHS will not accept a request for extension of the thirty (30) day time frame submitted by a family member, advocate, provider, or CMHC, acting on the enrollee's behalf without the involvement and knowledge of the enrollee, for example, to allow time for such entity to locate the enrollee if his whereabouts are unknown. All requests for a good cause extension must be made prior to termination of Medicaid eligibility. A good cause extension will be granted if DHS determines that a health problem, mental health problem, learning problem, disability or limited English proficiency prevented an enrollee from understanding or responding timely to the Request for Information. Except in the aforementioned circumstances, a good cause extension will only be granted if such request is submitted in writing to DHS prior to termination of Medicaid eligibility and DHS determines that serious personal circumstances such as illness or death prevent an enrollee from responding to the Request for Information for an extended period of time. Proof of the serious personal circumstances is required with the submission of the written request in order for a good cause extension to be granted. Good cause extensions will be granted at the sole discretion of DHS , and, if granted, shall provide the enrollee with an additional thirty (30) days inclusive of mail time from the date of DHS's decision to grant the good cause extension. DHS will send the enrollee a letter granting or denying the request for good cause extension. DHS's decisions with respect to good cause extensions shall not be appealable.
5. If an enrollee provides some but not all of the necessary information to DHS to determine his eligibility for open Medicaid categories during the thirty (30) day period following the Request for Information, DHS will send the enrollee a Verification Request. The Verification Request will provide the enrollee with ten (10) days inclusive of mail time to submit any missing information as identified in the Verification Request. Enrollees will not have the opportunity to request an extension for good cause of the ten (10) day time frame for responding to the Verification Request.
6. Enrollees who respond to the Request for Information within the thirty (30) day period or within any extension of such period granted by DHS shall retain their eligibility for TennCare Medicaid (subject to any changes in covered services generally applicable to enrollees in their Medicaid category) while DHS reviews their eligibility for open Medicaid categories.
7. DHS shall review all information and verifications provided within the requisite time period by an enrollee pursuant to the Request for Information and/or Verification Request to determine whether the enrollee is eligible for any open Medicaid categories. If DHS makes a determination that the enrollee is eligible for an open Medicaid category, DHS will so notify the enrollee and the enrollee will be enrolled in the appropriate Medicaid category. When the enrollee is enrolled in the appropriate TennCare Medicaid category, his eligibility in the discontinued Medicaid category shall be terminated without additional notice. If DHS makes a determination that the enrollee is not eligible for any open Medicaid categories or if an enrollee does not respond to the Request for Information within the requisite thirty (30) day time period or any extension of such period granted by DHS, the TennCare Bureau will send the enrollee a twenty (20) day advance Termination Notice.
8. Enrollees who respond to the Request for Information or the Verification Request after the requisite time period specified in those notices or after any extension of such time period granted by DHS but before the date of termination shall retain their eligibility for TennCare Medicaid (subject to any changes in covered services generally applicable to enrollees in their Medicaid category) while DHS reviews their eligibility for open Medicaid categories. If DHS makes a determination that the enrollee is eligible for an open Medicaid category, DHS will so notify the enrollee, and the enrollee will be enrolled in the appropriate TennCare Medicaid category, and his eligibility in the discontinued Medicaid category shall be terminated without additional notice. If DHS makes a determination that the enrollee is not eligible for any open Medicaid categories, the TennCare Bureau will send the enrollee a twenty-(20) day advance Termination Notice.
9. Individuals may provide information and verifications specified in the Request for Information after termination of eligibility. DHS shall review all such information pursuant to the rules, policies and procedures of DHS and the Bureau of TennCare applicable to new applicants for TennCare coverage. The individual shall not be entitled to be reinstated into TennCare pending this review. If the individual is subsequently determined to be eligible for an open Medicaid category, he shall be granted retroactive coverage to the date of application, or in the case of spend down eligibility for Medically Needy pregnant women and children, to the latter of (a) the date of application, or (b) the date spend down eligibility is met.
(c) Termination Notice.
1. The TennCare Bureau will send Termination Notices to all enrollees being terminated pursuant to TennCare Medicaid eligibility reforms who are not determined to be eligible for open Medicaid categories pursuant to the Ex Parte Review or Request for Information processes described in this subparagraph.
2. Termination Notices will be sent twenty (20) days in advance of the date upon which the coverage will be terminated.
3. Termination Notices will provide enrollees with forty (40) days from the date of the notice to appeal valid factual disputes related to the disenrollment and will inform enrollees how they may request a hearing.
4. Enrollees with a health problem, mental health problem, learning problem, or a disability will be given the opportunity to request additional assistance for their appeal. Enrollees with Limited English Proficiency will have the opportunity to request translation assistance for their appeal.
5. Enrollees will not have the opportunity to request an extension for good cause of the forty (40) day time frame in which to request a hearing.

Notes

Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-13-13-.02
Public necessity rule filed July 1, 2002; effective through December 13, 2002. Original rule filed September 30, 2002; to be effective December 14, 2002; however, on December 9, 2002, the House Government Operations Committee of the General Assembly stayed rule 1200-13-13-.02; new effective date February 12, 2003. Emergency rule filed December 13, 2002; effective through May 27, 2003. Amendment filed April 9, 2003; effective June 23, 2003. Public necessity rule filed April 29, 2005, effective through October 11, 2005. Public necessity rule filed June 3, 2005; effective through November 15, 2005. Amendment filed July 28, 2005; effective October 11, 2005. Amendments filed September 1, 2005; effective November 15, 2005. Public necessity rule filed December 9, 2005; effective through May 23, 2006. Public necessity rule filed March 3, 2006; effective through August 15, 2006. Amendment filed March 3, 2006; effective May 17, 2006. Amendment filed June 1, 2006; effective August 15, 2006. Public necessity rule filed February 8, 2008; effective through July 22, 2008. Repeal and new rule filed May 7, 2008; effective July 21, 2008. Emergency rule filed March 1, 2010; effective through August 28, 2010. Amendment filed May 27, 2010; effective August 25, 2010. Amendment filed October 26, 2010; effective January 24, 2011. Amendment filed September 26, 2013; effective December 25, 2013. Emergency rules filed July 1, 2016; effective through December 28, 2016. Amendments filed September 30, 2016; effective 12/29/2016.

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 4-5-202, 4-5-208, 4-5-209, 71-5-105, 71-5-109, and Executive Order No. 23.

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