Tennessee Medicaid Litigation

On Mar. 19th, NCLEJ, as co-counsel with Selendy & Gay, the Tennessee Justice Center and the National Health Law Program, filed A.M.C. v. Smith, a federal class action complaint in the Middle District of Tennessee, challenging Tennessee policies and practices that have unlawfully deprived eligible children and adults of Medicaid coverage, known in Tennessee as TennCare. The state employs a defective bureaucratic process for the periodic redetermination of the eligibility of individuals enrolled in TennCare, which has resulted in thousands of low-income individuals being terminated from this critical health care coverage without due process in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Medicaid Act, and in a manner that employs eligibility criteria that screens out persons with disabilities, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

On April 10th, the plaintiffs filed a motion for preiminary injunction, seeking immediate reinstatement of TennCare coverage to class members, or in the alternative, expedited notice and hearing opportunities, to class members who were wrongfully terminated from the program.  Plaintiffs are seeking this relief because of the imminent irreparable harm they face, not only because of the loss of critical health care coverage, but also because of their high-risk vulnerability of exposure to infection from the novel coronavirus.  The COVID-19 pandemic presents a potential medical crisis for plaintiffs that is greatly exacerbated by the loss of TennCare.  Plaintiffs’ motion is pending before the court.

The Tennessee litigation has received local press coverage: Tennessean article