More than 1000 Children Enrolled in Katie Beckett Program in Year One

Tuesday, November 23, 2021 | 09:18am

More than 1000 Children Enrolled in Katie Beckett Program in Year One
Hundreds of families benefitting one year after program opens for enrollment

NASHVILLE—The Division of TennCare and the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) announced that more than 1000 children have been enrolled in the Katie Beckett Program since it opened one year ago. There are currently no waiting lists for services in either part of the program.

“We’ve already seen how the Katie Beckett Program can change the lives of children and families for the better here in Tennessee,” said DIDD Commissioner Brad Turner. “From providing life-changing supports to medically complex kids to offsetting the financial burden of co-pays and premiums for families, this program is helping families in ways they might not have realized were possible.”

The Katie Beckett Program is for children with disabilities and/or complex medical needs who are not currently Medicaid eligible because of their parent’s income or assets. Tennessee’s Katie Beckett Program has two parts. Part A provides Medicaid services to children with the most significant disabilities or complex medical needs. Part B is a Medicaid diversion program, which means children are not enrolled in Medicaid, but receive a capped package of supports of up to $10,000 annually to help cover the cost of private insurance or care their insurance does not cover.

The program was designed based on feedback from families, advocates, and medical experts. TennCare and DIDD continue to meet with a technical advisory group to review program successes, challenges, and solicit feedback on potential program adjustments.

“Tennessee’s Katie Beckett Program is a model for collaboration and innovation,” said TennCare Director Stephen Smith. “We are excited about the opportunities this program will provide to Tennesseans and encouraged by this first year of implementation.” The Katie Beckett Program was passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Bill Lee in May 2019. The program was launched on November 23, 2020, three weeks after receiving federal approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Families who are interested in applying can fill out a self-referral form on the TennCare Connect website. Once the referral is completed, a DIDD case manager will contact them to follow up and continue the assessment process. Find more information about the Katie Beckett Program at: and


About the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) is the state agency responsible for administering services and support to Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Every day, the department strives to support approximately 12,000 people to live rewarding and fulfilling lives through Medicaid waiver Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS), state-operated ICF/IIDs, and the Family Support Program. DIDD also provides services to children ages birth up to age three with disabilities or developmental delays through the Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS), and children under the age of 18 with disabilities or complex medical needs through Part B of the Katie Beckett Program. The department supports all Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities live the lives they envision for themselves by ensuring people are free to exercise rights, engage with their broader communities and experience optimal health. DIDD is the first state service delivery system in the nation to receive Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation from the Council on Quality and Leadership. It has also been recognized as a national leader in its efforts to increase competitive, community-based employment outcomes for people with disabilities and its commitment to enhancing independence through Enabling Technology. 

About TennCare

TennCare is the state of Tennessee’s Medicaid program which provides health insurance to approximately 1.6 million low-income Tennesseans including pregnant women, children, caretaker relatives of dependent children and older adults, and adults with disabilities. With a satisfaction rating above 90 percent since 2009 TennCare provides health insurance, including long-term services and supports, through the use of managed care.