TennCare Expects to Benefit from Court Ruling

Nashville, TN – TennCare officials say they expect to benefit from a Tennessee Supreme Court ruling that broadens their right to reclaim money for care from the estates of people who have died. A Tennessee law that took effect in 2007 requires the representative of a deceased person's estate to request a waiver for the costs of home and community-based services provided by TennCare, the state's expanded Medicaid program. It also put a time restraint on how long TennCare has to recover the money.

The court ruled yesterday that in one case the son of a deceased nursing home resident did not seek a waiver, which allowed TennCare "to file the claim beyond the one-year period of limitation." State officials say the court's decision could affect claims that arose prior to 2007. TennCare spokeswoman Carol Fite says the agency is still reviewing the ruling to determine its impact, but believes it will increase the agency's ability to recover dollars.