What is TennCare?

TennCare is Tennessee’s Medicaid program. Its members are low-income residents who may include pregnant women, children with disabilities and the elderly. 

TennCare is one of the oldest Medicaid managed care programs. It operates under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Those who are 65 and have low income have the option to apply for TennCare CHOICES. 


TennCare CHOICES program provides seniors age 65 and older with nursing home facilities and home and community-based services. It allows them to stay in their homes while surrounding themselves with comfort in an environment they recognize. 

The Home and Community Based Services give help in the home, employment or community and assist with daily routines. Long-Term Services, also a part of the CHOICES plan, provides nursing home care for those with physical and mental health issues. 

CHOICES eligibility

CHOICES has three groups a person can qualify for: 

  1. Nursing home care 
  2. Home care services 
  3. Home care services to delay or prevent the need for nursing home care 

To be eligible for Groups 1 and 2: 

  • Income cannot be more than $2,349 per month 
  • The total value of items owned cannot be more than $2,000 
  • Nothing given away or sold for less than its value in the past five years 

Group 3 eligibility is for those who are at risk of needing nursing home care or home care and gets Supplemental Security Income payments. 

Tennessee citizens over 65 may be eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. Qualifying for both means you could get the dual-eligible Medicare Advantage Plan.

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