TennCare Now Provides Diapers up to Age 2

TennCare provides diapers up to age 2

An amendment to TennCare now covers a supply of diapers for children under age 2!  Nationally, according to the National Diaper Bank, 47% of families reported diaper need in 2023.  "1 in 2 U.S. families cannot afford enough diapers to keep their infant or child clean, dry, and healthy. These babies are more vulnerable to painful rashes and urinary tract infections and have more trips to the doctor. 3 in 5 parents miss work or school because they can’t afford the diapers required to leave their baby in Childcare."

Tennessee will now cover "a supply of 100 disposable diapers per month for children under age 2 enrolled in TennCare as a means to help ensure that children enrolled in TennCare have access to an adequate supply of diapers."  Diapers should be available through participating pharmacies.

While this benefit will have a HUGE positive impact on families enrolled in TennCare, United Way's ALICE research indicates that providing diapers for their children is still a struggle for families living above the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) but making less than what it actually costs to live in their area.  These families, referred to as ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) are unable to afford the basics for their families and often have to make difficult choices on how to make ends meet.  Yet, because they make above the FPL, most don't qualify for TennCare or this new diaper benefit.  

This is why United Way of Sumner County's annual Mom & Baby Care Drive will still be an important vehicle for helping moms & babies living in hardship in Sumner County!  The event collects diapers, wipes, feminine products, and personal care items to be distributed to partner agencies who serve moms & babies in need.  The event can also help provide larger size diapers and training pants to children who lose their TennCare diaper benefit at age 2.

Tennessee has also now expanded access to care for low-income parents and caretaker relatives of dependent children.  Per the tn.gov website regarding Amendment 5, "Currently, TennCare covers parents/caretaker relatives whose incomes fall below fixed dollar amounts which vary by household size and which are specified in Tennessee’s Title XIX Medicaid State Plan. These amounts are currently below the federal poverty level for all household sizes. In Amendment 5, Tennessee proposes to increase its coverage of parents/caretaker relatives by aligning TennCare’s income standard for these individuals with the federal poverty level (i.e., 100 percent of the FPL). This change will ensure that all parents/caretaker relatives in Tennessee with incomes below the federal poverty level have access to health coverage."

Click here for more information on these changes to TennCare.

You can find out if your family is eligible for public benefits including TennCare by using United Way's free text screening service, the Tennessee Benefit Kitchen.