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Tennessee Medicaid to offer free diapers under new benefit program

Innovative initiative to support infants and toddlers set to launch in August, addressing a critical need for low-income families

Tennessee’s state Medicaid program, TennCare, is set to introduce a initiative by providing free diapers to infants and toddlers later this year, marking the first benefit of its kind in the United States. This follows the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ recent approval of the state’s proposal, nearly a year after its submission.

The new benefit will be available to children covered by the TennCare or CoverKids programs, offering up to 100 diapers per month for the first two years of life — approximately half of the average monthly requirement. The initiative will be funded through Tennessee’s new Medicaid block funding program, with lawmakers approving an additional $30 million for the program during the 2023 legislative session.

With federal approval secured, TennCare is now finalizing the details of the plan, which aims to distribute diapers through existing TennCare pharmacies starting in August. The benefit will include a variety of diaper brands, enabling parents to select the most suitable option for their children.

This program addresses a significant gap in federal assistance, as diapers are not covered by any existing federal aid. Statistics indicate that around one-third of families in Middle Tennessee struggle to afford diapers, highlighting the critical need for this initiative.

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