By Tom Wilemon
When Tennessee abdicated responsibility for Medicaid applications to the federal government, foster children got locked out.
Adoption agencies had no way to seek coverage after TennCare made state residents apply through healthcare.gov, a website designed for families to shop for health insurance. The website has no computer equivalent to the state social workers once tasked with making sure children didn’t go without medical coverage.
TennCare this year ended an arrangement that allowed staff with the Tennessee Department of Human Services to work directly with adoption agencies and hospitals to sign up newborns and children for the state Medicaid program.