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How to Apply for the Safety Net

The Behavioral Health Safety Net of TN (BHSN of TN) provides core behavioral health services to Tennesseans lacking insurance coverage.  These services are community based; inpatient care is not covered.  The BHSN of TN is administered through contracts with 15 Community Mental Health Agencies across the state.  To apply for safety net assistance one simply makes an intake appointment with one of these agencies (see Safety Net Provider Contact List) and indicates interest in applying for the safety net program.  If eligible for the program (see eligibility requirements below), the agency will assist you in completing the enrollment form and will submit it for approval.  If approved, Behavioral Health Safety Net services must be received at the Community Mental Health Agency where you applied for safety net assistance. 

Assistance with prescription medications is handled through a separate program called Cover Rx.  Magellan Health administers this program under a contract with the state of Tennessee.  Full details of this program can be found at this link:  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 Behavioral Safety Net Program, you must have

  • 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.


Email with “BHSN Question” as the subject.