Expanded Health-Care Benefits Available for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Through TennCare

On Friday, the Division of TennCare expanded health-care benefits for pregnant and postpartum TennCare members, according to the department.

TennCare is the state’s Medicaid program, which provides health insurance to approximately 1.6 million low-income Tennesseans.

The expansion include health-care coverage for women expanding from 60 days to 12 months after pregnancy, known as “postpartum.” Pregnant and postpartum mothers will also have a comprehensive dental benefit as part of this new coverage, the department notes.

To access new pregnancy benefits, TennCare members must update their TennCare Connect account to notify the agency that they are pregnant, according to the department.

Governor Bill Lee proposed the new pregnancy and postpartum benefits as a part of his Supporting Strong Families initiative in 2021, previously reported by The Tennessee Star.

“Strong families begin with supported mothers who have access to maternal care,” Governor Lee said in a statement. “We believe the increase in care will not only improve health outcomes for mothers but also significantly improve the first year of life for Tennessee children.”

Pregnancy and the entire first postpartum year are critical periods in a woman’s life and her newborn’s life, the department details in the press release. Pregnant and postpartum women are at increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, and diabetes, and complications are often experienced from two months through the entire year after delivery. Helping women access health care coverage throughout the entire postpartum year is an important step to supporting mothers and infants, the press release further outlines.

“Maternal mortality remains an issue nationwide and we know the late postpartum period remains critically important and a vulnerable period for both the mom and child,” TennCare Director Stephen Smith said in a statement. “This initiative is as much about the child as it is the mother – we want to set the child up for success as we know that the first year of life has a major impact on childhood development.”

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.


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One Thought to “Expanded Health-Care Benefits Available for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Through TennCare”

  1. 83ragtop50

    Just what TennCare was created to do – yeah, right. I am sick and tired of eh medical welfare system.