TennCare Increases Health Care Benefits for Pregnant and Postpartum Women

Thursday, March 31, 2022 | 10:46am

Nashville, TN – Beginning April 1st, 2022, the Division of TennCare will officially expand health care benefits for pregnant and postpartum TennCare members.* Health care coverage for women will expand from sixty days to twelve months after pregnancy, which is called “postpartum”. Pregnant and postpartum mothers will also have a comprehensive dental benefit as part of this new coverage.

Pregnancy and the entire first postpartum year are critical periods in a woman’s life and her newborn’s life. 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. A healthy mother is the foundation for a healthy child. When a mother can healthily navigate her pregnancy and postpartum period, she is best equipped to care for her new baby.

“Maternal mortality remains an issue nationwide and we know the late post-partum period remains critically important and a vulnerable period for both the mom and child,” said TennCare Director Stephen Smith. “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 first year of life has a major impact on childhood development.”

Governor Bill Lee proposed the new pregnancy and postpartum benefits as a part of his Supporting Strong Families initiative in 2021. "Strong families begin with supported mothers who have access to maternal care," said Gov. Lee. "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." Tennessee looks forward to serving and supporting women and children with these new benefits.

To access new pregnancy benefits, TennCare members must update their TennCare Connect account to notify the agency that they are pregnant. Enrollees can update TennCare Connect over the phone at 855-259-0701, online at tenncareconnect.tn.gov, or at a local Health Department.

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, 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.

* On April 1, 2022, a new federal law allowing states to provide 12 months of Medicaid postpartum coverage goes into effect. Prior to April 1, 2022, all pregnant and postpartum women enrolled in TennCare have continued to receive full coverage on an ongoing basis due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency.