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How to Apply for the BHSN for Adults

The Behavioral Health Safety Net (BHSN) for Adults provides essential outpatient mental health services to Tennesseans who lack insurance coverage. The BHSN for Adults is administered through contracts with Community Mental Health Agencies across the state. These services are community based, and inpatient care is not covered. 

To apply for safety net assistance, find a provider in your area, make an intake appointment,  and tell them you want to apply for the safety net program. If you are eligible for the program (see eligibility requirements below), the agency will assist you in completing the enrollment form. If approved, Behavioral Health Safety Net services must be received at the Community Mental Health Agency where you applied for safety net assistance. 

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Assistance with prescription medications is handled through a separate program called CoverRx. The CoverRx program is supported by TennCare.  Full details of this program can be found at this link: https://www.tn.gov/tenncare/coverrx.html.  Application for Cover Rx can be made through the same agency through which you made application for the Behavioral Health Safety Net program. 

In order to qualify for the BHSN for Adults, you must have

and are

  • A Tennessee resident, 18 or older
  • A U.S. Citizen or qualified alien
  • Not currently in an inpatient facility or nursing home
  • Not an inmate or incarcerated
  • Ineligible for VA benefits, TennCare, or have filled out a TennCare application
  • Lacking private health insurance which covers behavioral health benefits, or all behavioral health benefits have been exhausted for the year

As of September 2013, individuals who have Medicare Part B and meet all other eligibility requirements for the BHSN program may be enrolled.

Anyone who receives BHSN services and is 65 or older will be treated as having Medicare Part B.

These two groups are eligible for 4 services: Case Management, Medication Training and Support, Peer Support, and Psychological Rehabilitation Services.

If any individual is enrolled in Medicare Part B and has chosen a Medicare Advantage Plan, they may enroll in the BSHN program if they meet all other eligibility requirements, as long as their Advantage Plan doesn’t cover the 4 approved services above or benefits of the plan have been exhausted for the year.

For More Information

If you have concerns or need services for yourself, a child, or family member, contact our Helpline:
Phone: 800-560-5767
Email: OCA.TDMHSAS@tn.gov
Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (except for state holidays)

If you feel at any time that you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call the Tennessee Statewide Crisis Line toll-free 24 hours, 7 days a week at 1-855-274-7471.