Changes to TennCare & DIDD & What This Means for Tennesseans with Disabilities

Man in power chair in conversation with his mom sitting on the couch smiling at him

TennCare and the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) propose integrating the Medicaid Long-Term Supports and Services they provide. As with any change, this will bring a number of opportunities and challenges. It will put Medicaid insurance companies Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Health Care and Amerigroup (called Managed Care Organizations) in charge of DIDD waiver services. Althought not immediately, this will mean changes to the kinds and amounts of supports and services provided to waiver participants. 

To learn more about the plan, visit the state's website:

a. Materials are available online:

b. The state is taking comments online, by email, or mail until November 13, 2020

Online at: 
Email or Mail comments to Cara Kumari (  
Assistant Commissioner
Communications and External Affairs
UBS Tower, 8th Floor
315 Deaderick St., Nashville, TN 37243


Leading disability organizations, including the Coalition, have developed consensus principles that we believe should guide the planning process. There would protect the individuals who are currently served from disruptions in their lives and/or loss of critical services. 

Principles include:

  1. Maintaining at least the current level of services and benefits for individuals currently served by the state’s 1915c waivers.
  2. Maintaining a system of Independent service coordination
  3. Supporting individuals in appropriate community environments and preventing institutionalization.
  4. Being funded at a level that ensures providers are adequately and equitably compensated so that they are to deliver quality and consistent services.

As a plan for an integrated system is developed, it must:  

  1. Be developed based on the robust involvement and participation of all stakeholders, especially individuals with IDD and their families and representatives.
  2. Meet the full spectrum of the needs of the heterogeneous population of people with IDD.  This includes adequate residential and behavioral health services. 
  3. Provide for person-centered development and funding of individual support plans with measurable outcomes, goals, and objectives designed to enable each person to live as he or she desires in the least restrictive and most integrated setting that can be identified or created.
  4. Provide for the continuous monitoring of each person's safety, well-being, and happiness and of the timely achievement of the goals and objectives of their choosing.
  5. Direct all new money generated by the HMO tax to serving individuals who are not currently served.  

You may download the guiding principles document here.

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