Medicaid Covers US: Tennessee


What is Medicaid Covers US?

Medicaid Covers US is a public education project to create a conversation about Medicaid and the role it plays in the health and well-being of our families, friends and communities. Read the stories of Tennesseans below.

Medicaid Covers US in Tennessee

Medicaid is a vital health insurance plan that helps Tennesseans stay healthy, go to work and care for their families. Read and watch the stories below to hear from Tennesseans across the state who are able to use TennCare/Medicaid to access the health coverage they need, as well as from Tennesseans who are unable to get the care they need because they don’t currently qualify for Medicaid coverage. You can also watch updated videos from storytellers about how important Medicaid is during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stories from Tennessee

Lesia: McMinnville, TN

Lesia has been unable to work because of her failing eyesight and painful fibromyalgia. But she is also ineligible for TennCare Medicaid, so is left without access to the care she needs to save her sight.

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Dr. Shattuck: Knoxville, TN

Dr. Shattuck runs a house call practice where providers go to the homes of patients who are unable to travel to a clinic. The majority of his patients are covered by TennCare Medicaid, which makes it possible for them to get the care they need.

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Dr. Shattuck, COVID-19 Update: Knoxville, TN

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Shattuck’s main fear was for Tennesseans who have chronic conditions that make them susceptible to the disease, and who are uninsured because Tennessee did not expand its Medicaid program.

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Dr. Borinstein: Nashville, TN

Dr. Borinstein is a pediatric oncologist. About half of his patients are covered by Tennessee’s Medicaid program, TennCare, which allows them to get lifesaving cancer care.

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Rev. Larry: Oak Ridge, TN

Reverend Larry is a pastor who sees the importance of health care every day. He knows there are community members who are unable to get the care they need because they don’t have health insurance, and he believes society must do better to care for the most vulnerable among us.

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Rev. Larry, COVID-19 Update: Oak Ridge, TN

Rev. Larry sees the moral imperative to ensure that Tennesseans have access to health insurance as even more imperative now with the pandemic.

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Michael: Knoxville, TN

In 2017, Michael was uninsured and diagnosed with testicular cancer. Fortunately, he was eligible for TennCare Medicaid, and his health insurance covered him throughout his treatment.

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Debbie: McMinnville, TN

In 2013, Debbie had just moved back to Tennessee and was uninsured. She felt a lump in her breast and, because she was eligible for TennCare Medicaid through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, she was able to get the lifesaving care she needed.

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Dr. Pais

Dr. Pais: Knoxville, TN

Dr. Pais is the Director of the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. About half of his patients are covered by TennCare Medicaid and get the same high-quality care as his privately insured patients.

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Jessica: Johnson City, TN

Jessica and her husband are the parents of three children. One of their daughters, Clare, has a rare genetic disorder that requires extensive, ongoing care. They hope she will be able to get covered through the state’s new Katie Beckett Medicaid waiver because her private health insurance isn’t enough to cover everything she needs.

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Maria, Murfreesboro, TN

Maria and her daughters live in Middle Tennessee and she works as an Executive Hospice Care Consultant. A nurse by profession, Maria has dedicated her life to helping families through some of the hardest times in their lives.

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Rudolf: Maryville, TN

Rudolf and his wife are retired, but they are the primary caregivers for their two grandsons, who both have autism. Because the boys are covered by TennCare Medicaid, they are able to get the full range of services they need to thrive.

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Sharlee: Grundy County, TN

Sharlee lives in a rural area of Tennessee with her children, ages 8 and 10, and prior to his death, she was a caregiver to her ex-husband Jim.

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