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Comments: TennCare Demonstration, Amendment 42

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The Medicare Rights Center (Medicare Rights) welcomes this opportunity to comment on the TennCare Demonstration Waiver Amendment 42. Medicare Rights is a national, nonprofit organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives. Medicare Rights provides services and resources to three million people with Medicare, family caregivers, and professionals each year. Through our National Helpline, we hear daily from people who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid who are experiencing enrollment issues and barriers in access to care, including bureaucratic hurdles. Given this focus, we have a particular interest in how this waiver would affect Tennesseans with disabilities and who are older.

The Medicaid program, now in its 54th year, is a success story. Through Medicaid, millions of low-income Americans have built well-being and gained greater economic security via access to health insurance coverage. This coverage has guaranteed health care to older adults and people with disabilities who need access to care with less financial burden than Medicare alone can provide. In addition, Medicaid helps millions of children and their families and, in states that have chosen the life-saving and cost-effective option of Medicaid expansion, those who are unable to find work, whose employers or job types do not grant access to health insurance, or who are caregivers, students, or who have conditions that interfere with regular work…

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